You may think that just because sensory has the word “science” attached to it that it would be impossible to do without  knowing how to solve complicated chemical equations or dissolve colorful mysterious liquids in strange glasswares. It is true that to be a sensory scientist, you’d need to have some background or knowledge of that sort. But luckily to participate in the sensory fun you do not. Another myth is that you must have a perfect palate in order to do sensory. This is false, although a good palate is extremely helpful. Sensory evaluation is a objective process. That means it can be learned and improved in a panelist.

What you DO need is this:

  • Know and be able to identify your basic tastes: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter, and Umami
  • Be able to pick out differences in food products
  • Be able to describe the food that you are tasting-not just whether you like it or not!
  • Know and be able to evaluate your product using an appropriate scale (Very important! More on scales in a later post).