About the Sensory Center

The Sensory Center is a teaching, research, and service unit within the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota. We provide a full range of sensory evaluation and consumer testing methodologies including test design and data analysis. We conduct sensory tests and sensory research for food companies and private research corporations as well as for research projects at this and at other Universities.

Services

  • Panel recruiting. We maintain an e-mail list of several hundred students and staff on campus.
  • Panel screening and training
  • Descriptive analysis
  • Difference testing
  • Preference/acceptance tests
  • Extended eating tests
  • Focus groups/interviews
  • Home use tests
  • Choice tests

Staff

Director

Professor Zata Vickers
zvickers@umn.edu
612-624-2257

Coordinators

Jenna Brady
brady270@umn.edu
612-625-3712

Fees

Fees are based on actual costs of supplies, labor, facility use, and payment to panelists. Please contact one of the coordinators to discuss your testing needs and receive a cost estimate.

Facilities

We have two testing facilities each with 8 testing booths and computers. Both facilities have adjacent kitchen labs for test preparation. In addition, there are classrooms and conference rooms near the testing facilities that can be used for focus groups or larger consumer studies.