The Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation’s purpose built sensory analysis suite, based at QMU, assesses both new items before they are launched, as well as existing products already on the market.
Several consumer tasting panels are run every week on a wide variety of food and drink products including bakery, meats, ready meals, snacks and chocolate.
Some of the taste panels are very quick and simple and are completed in around 30 minutes, some sessions require more detailed tasting up to around 45 minutes.
Lucy MacLellan, Food Technologist, said: “Lots of new projects are coming in all the time and consumer panel members will have the chance to taste a wide range of products from basic food brands to premium products.
"People really enjoy attending the sessions and welcome the opportunity to share their opinions on the range of foods they taste.”
No previous experience is necessary to take part in the sessions, but all participants should be over 18 and should not have any dietary restrictions.
Tasters can choose to apply for as many sessions as they wish, but there is no obligation to attend every session which is being promoted.
Each week the list of consumer panelists will receive an email with notification of upcoming sessions to choose from.
Most sessions are Monday through Friday so they are ideal for people who are retired, or for those with a little free time during weekday mornings or afternoons.
Those attending the tasting panels are rewarded at the end of each session with either a £10 Amazon or John Lewis voucher.
SCFDI Lecturer, Catriona Liddle, said, “QMU’s ability to enhance Scotland’s position in the food innovation arena continues to grow, and supports food and drink companies with their desire to produce healthier, marketable products.
“Through practical innovation support and creative business solutions, QMU is helping Scotland’s leading food and drink businesses with new and innovative product development and analysis.
"Sometimes this involves simple ingredient changes to existing recipes, at other times it’s the creation of brand new first to market prototypes.”
If you would like to find out more information, or to sign up as a consumer panel taster, please email Lucy MacLellan or Phil Cook of the QMU Food & Drink Consumer Tasting Panel on Consumerpanels@qmu.ac.uk