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Monday, 11 April 2016

Volunteers sought for sensory panel at the NoWFOOD Centre


A unique opportunity to play a pivotal role in product development within the food industry is being offered by the North West Food (NoWFOOD) Research and Development Centre at the University of Chester.
 
The state of the art research and development facility, which provides a centre of excellence in food science and technology for producers across the region, is looking to recruit a bank of volunteers to form a sensory tasting panel.

The panel will work with some of the region’s best-loved brands, to support key business decisions and provide critical insight into the client’s product development agenda. 

Jane Favager, Sensory Scientist at the NoWFOOD Centre explained: “A sensory panel is a group of highly trained assessors who have developed exceptional sensory capabilities and can describe products on the basis of sight, smell, touch, taste and hearing.

“Panellists will receive training, so that they are able to identify and memorise flavours, describe what they taste, discriminate between different samples and score repeatedly. Data from sensory testing is a very powerful development tool and can play a vital part of quality control and shape the way that products are changed or improved.”

She added: “We are looking to recruit a panel of volunteers who can spare a couple of hours, preferably on the same day each week, to be part of the panel. It’s not a problem if they don’t like certain foods, but it is necessary that each panellist must be free from allergies, not use any medication that might affect their ability to taste, and not be prone to minor infections of the nose and throat.

"Applicants will be required to pass stage one of the recruitment process by participating in some simple smell and taste tests. If successful, candidates will then receive full training and have the opportunity to become a professional sensory panellist for the NoWFOOD Centre and help influence product development for some fantastic food and beverage manufacturers in the region."

Volunteers would need to spare a couple of hours per week. The opportunity would suit someone who has a couple of hours to spare each week- maybe a part-time staff member, stay at home mum/ dad or retiree.

The positions are unpaid, but all panellists will receive a certificate of attendance once their training is complete.

If you would be interested in applying to be a sensory panellist for the Centre, please contact nowfood@chester.ac.uk or telephone: 01244 511421

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