The taste of vegetables is important for consumers. That is why many producers and breeders have their products tested by the aromatic panel of the Horticulture Greenhouse Business Unit of the University and Research of Wageningen. Due to the crown crisis, testing is done mostly at home with flavor panel members. In the future, they can get help from VR glasses.
There are two types of flavor panels. First, the consumer panel: which tests the taste of a product. In addition, there are several different rain sensory panels. They distinguish a wide variety of flavor attributes. Highly trained panel members can identify and describe the different flavor attributes of the products. These panels use a list of flavor attributes (descriptors), for example, succulence or firmness.
Due to the crisis of the crown, many activities of the flavor panels can no longer take place physically in the location of Bleiswijk. This applies, for example, to trained sensory panels. Sensory panel training is done online to form the sensory panel to accurately describe your taste experiences. Half an hour before the training, panel members picked up a package of WUR products in Bleiswijk, so they could be fresh during the online meeting. Last year, for example, online sensory training was conducted on apple, carrot and beet products.
Alternatives for visual evaluations
Taste is also a matter of perception. That is why a small test room supermarket has been set up in the WUR building in Bleiswijk so that a visual assessment can be made. Due to the crown crisis, visual assessment was a challenge. Therefore, last year several alternatives were investigated, namely: virtual reality glasses (ie: virtual reality), a questionnaire with photos of the samples and a short visit to the supermarket in the test room, followed by ‘an assessment at home. In the latter case, members collected the products from the WUR building in Bleiswijk and then were evaluated at home.
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Wageningen University and Research