FlavorActiV and Fifth Sense have begun a pioneering study to test the abilities of taste and smell disorder sufferers in detecting the basic tastes (salt, sweet, sour, bitter, umami) in varying concentrations, and to determine if regular tasting can improve detection levels.
The volunteers, most of whom are Fifth Sense members but including people from the Netherlands and Australia, will be given four rounds of blind samples and asked to identify which flavour is present. The results will be fed into FlavorActiV’s Taster Validation Scheme, where they will be analysed after each round by in-house sensory experts, who will then advise each participant to alter the concentration levels accordingly. It is hoped that volunteers will have improved, or categorically ruled out, their ability to detect the tastes as a result of this study.
The findings will aid the development of a take home Taste Kit for self-diagnosis and training, and a Taste Loss Scale to accurately determine level of taste loss. This will provide members with essential information to understand their own limitations and possibly discover previously unknown tasting abilities, an important step in developing skills and confidence.
In addition, FlavorActiV is exploring ways to utilise the wealth of data in its Taster Validation Scheme, which assess tens of thousands of professional tasters globally, to learn flavour trends and taster abilities globally. This information will be used to support and inform Fifth Sense’s own research activities.
An estimated 1 in 20 people suffer from some a smell or taste disorder and the ramifications for the people involved, and the global beverage industry as a whole, are significant – not least because some of their own tasters may be anosmic to certain flavours.
The findings from this study will be released in the Summer of 2016. Please contact Liam Singleton for more details.
Notes for Editors
- More details of the FlavorActiV-Fifth Sense partnership can be found here: http://www.flavoractiv.com/about/fifth-sense/
- FlavorActiV works with 9 out of 10 of the world’s largest beverage companies, delivering training in more than 20 languages.
- FlavorActiV currently supports more than 40,000 sensory participants worldwide through its unique Taster Validation Scheme.
- FlavorActiV specializes in taster trainer management, and is working across the beer, wine, soft drinks, spirits, coffee, olive oil, water, juices, dairy and cocoa sectors. Currently there are 125 flavours and products across the portfolio, and this is expanding all the time.