Taste Tests

There is no doubt that nowadays food and drinks have a lot of hidden sugar in them. If they don’t have sugar in them, they have to put something else in to take its place.

A lot of people do not know this and the lower calorie, lower fat variations of food and drink could be as bad for you as the higher sugar, additive laden versions.  Education is the key to knowing exactly what you should be ingesting and how to keep your body at maximum efficiency and optimum health.

The best way to ensure what is going into your drinks and food is to make your own.  A juicer is a great place to start and there is an amazing website called: http://www.houseofjuicers.org/that will help you to get started.

My Job

My official title is a taste tester but I do not taste the food myself. I go out and test certain food and drink on the public.

How I usually do it is going into a town or city centre and give away free samples.  The food and drink is not marked up in anyway, I give the samples away to members of the public in return for some feedback in the way of carefully constructed questions. 

The Public

Getting the public to try the samples, no matter what they are, is really not a hard sell. We all love receiving something for nothing and we are always inundated with people wanting to try out our samples.

The samples can be anything, soft drinks and juices, candy, any type of food and it doesn’t stop there, I have tasted deodorants, toothpastes, it really could be anything.

The Challenge 

The challenge for this particular test was, can you tell the difference between low sugar and high sugar juices and soda and low fat and high fat puddings. Can you really tell the difference?  Testing the public without telling them the specifics was a perfect way to get real results.

The Testing 

The fun bit is the tests themselves.  I always really enjoy going out and speaking to the public and asking them to taste things when they don’t really know what it is is always fun.  A bit of humor and charm is always the way to go. 

The Results

The results are used in a variety of ways and extrapolated by experts. The findings can be used for marketing, helping companies to work out what consumers want.  The medical world, doctors and nutritionists usually use our findings for research papers ie: studies have shown that…and sometimes they the results are used to improve and enhance.  We do not judge, the company I work for is independent, we just carry out the tests.  What they are used for is up to our clients.

Observation

Over the course of the 10 years I have worked for the company on average, 70% of people cannot tell the difference between full fat and low fat and high sugar and low sugar.  I guess over the years our taste buds have become uneducated and sadly, this gives way to manufacturers trading on that ignorance and giving us things that taste good, but are not necessarily good for us.

Ignorance

It has never been my intention to vilify manufacturers because the ignorance is our own and it is our responsibility to educate ourselves.  We are so used to things tasting artificial products that we now cannot tell the difference between the real flavour of say, an orange and the manufactured flavour of orange. Manufacturers are there to sell a product, so the more educated they are about what we know, what we like etc. the better they can tailor those products to us and ultimately, the more they sell. I collect the findings, collate them and hand them to my boss who then reports up the chain.

I like meeting the public and I enjoy my job and I use the knowledge to educate my friends and family and in some small way help to change their worlds for the better.