(04/17/17) BATON ROUGE, La. – Before new food products make it to market, they often go through consumer testing. The Sensory Services Lab in the LSU AgCenter’s School of Nutrition and Food Sciences is set up to help companies conduct sensory evaluations, consumer preferences and product research.
To conduct taste tests, the center needs taste testers. Researchers with the center are compiling a database of individuals who could be called upon to participate in these consumer tests.
Ashley Gutierrez, the sensory lab manager, said anyone 18 years or older can sign up to be a Tiger Taster with the lab.
“This is a great opportunity to help shape new products,” Gutierrez said.
Tiger Tasters can sign up by filling out a brief survey that collects demographic information. The information is used to help companies get a panel of tasters that best suits their needs.
“We recently did a study where the company wanted college students,” Gutierrez said. Sometimes companies request just moms or individuals of a certain age or background.
The more people in the database, the more companies the center can serve.
Witoon Prinyawiwatkul, a food science professor who oversees sensory services, said the work they are doing at the Sensory Analysis Center is solving issues for food companies, helping with innovation and advancing new food technologies.
“Many healthy foods have been developed by the food industry but they must be tasty and accepted by consumers. So, consumer opinion is critical,” Prinyawiwatkul said.
“Consumer tasters can be proud of their contribution to the food industry,” Prinyawiwatkul said.
To learn more, visit the lab’s website at https://www.lsu.edu/departments/nfs/sensory/index.htm#p6
A consumer taster samples orange juices in the LSU AgCenter’s Sensory Services Lab. The lab is looking to build its database of tasters. Photo by Olivia McClure/LSU AgCenter.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture