Professional taste judges at the food research institute work in what is called the sensory panel.

The term sensory is about impressions and information that the brain receives through the senses. For these experts, sensory awareness is about food. Senses not only describe how the food tastes, but also how it is experienced in the mouth.

Researchers will now use this in their quest to get Norwegian consumers to eat less meat, writes

From a consumer taste test performed by Nofima, It turns out that the products that are most similar to meat are not the products that people like the most.

The best-liked burger is far from the meat products. It is based on vegetables, is breaded and is a far cry from a beef burger, says project manager and sensory expert Solveig Nersten.

Researcher at Nofima, Paula Varela-Tomasco, believes sensory experience can be a useful move to get people to choose products other than milk and meat.

The profile is completely different. It does not try to imitate meat. It can be used for the same thing, but it doesn’t taste the same. Perhaps it looks more natural to the consumer. This is what we are trying to understand. This quest to imitate animal-based products is not necessarily the only way to get people to eat less meat, Varela-Tomasco believes.

She believes that Norwegian consumers want things to be simple and fast.

What is important to many Norwegian consumers is simplicity. It must cook quickly, must be used in the same way as the products they are used to, explains Varela-Tomasco.

Varela-Tomasco and Nersten work hard to get people to change their eating habits.

We map the differences between different plant-based food and drinks and the products that they try to imitate. Previous research shows that taste and texture are the main obstacles for more people to eat and drink these products, says Varela-Tomasco.

In the project VOM – Tools for restructuring the food system, Nofima researchers collaborate with several partners to try to get people to eat more plant-based products, based on Norwegian raw materials.

We focus on the sensors, while other partners look at, for example, politics and other obstacles, says Paula Varela-Tomasco.

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