Sensory Lab Helps UF/IFAS Breeders Know Which Fruits, Veggies Taste, Smell Best (UF/IFAS Blogs)

Sensory Lab Helps UF/IFAS Breeders Know Which Fruits, Veggies Taste, Smell Best

Not long ago, about 200 consumer panelists went to the University of Florida Sensory Testing Lab to taste a new blueberry developed by UF/IFAS scientists. Turns out, they liked the flavor of the ‘Sentinel’ blueberry, said its breeder, Patricio Muñoz.

The Sensory Testing Lab sits rather inconspicuously in the middle of campus. Few people come or go. But inside, volunteers test some of the future foods you’ll eat. These flavor panelists act like focus groups in the UF/IFAS Food Science and Human Nutrition Department Sensory Testing Lab, or Building 120, as it’s also known.

Many scientists bring their fruit and vegetable varieties to the lab, said Charles Sims, a UF/IFAS professor of food science and human nutrition. Food companies, faculty and graduate students use the lab to conduct research on the aroma, texture and flavor of foods, said Sims, who runs the lab.

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