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Learn to be a Fruit & Veggie Sommelier
From:
Annette Hottenstein, Registered Dietitian Annette Hottenstein, Registered Dietitian
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Baltimore , MD
Tuesday, April 22, 2014

 

A Cabernet has notes of blackcurrants, eucalyptus, chocolate and tobacco while a Pinot Noir has a fruity nose of raspberry, cherry, violets and truffles. BUT can you describe the differencebetween a Honey Crisp and a Granny Smith Apple using the same depth of language. I challenge RDs to become the sommeliers of produce. Does broccoli pair better with roast chicken or a grilledsalmon steak? How does a locally grown Honey Crisp apple differ from one grown in Oregon? Using sensory evaluation techniques, RDs can REALLY take culinary demos to a new level.

 

As a Registered Dietitian, are you familiar with the field sensory evaluation? Have you ever taken any coursework in sensory evaluation? Do you REALLY know what sensory evaluation is all about?Well, it’s important enough for the CDR to provide its own learning need code: 8130 - Sensory perception and evaluation of food and ingredients. By mastering the science of the five senses, RDscan truly become “THE” go to experts in for food and nutrition.

Sensory Evaluation, as defined by the Institute of Food Technologists, is “a scientific discipline used to evoke, measure, analyze, and interpret reactions to the characteristics of food andmaterials as they are perceived by the senses of sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing.” The principal uses of sensory evaluation techniques are for quality control, product development andresearch in the field of food science. Notice that there is NO mention of its use for nutrition professionals. BUT, this is something I’m working to change.

 

Here are some other ways RDs can use sensory evaluation:

 

In Nutrition Counseling: Client compliance will be improved with a better understanding of the interplay of sensoryproperties vs. nutrition in food choices. Something to explore is the genetics of taste…perhaps your client is a supertaster and this may be causing some of their aversions to healthy foods. Ifyou understand sensory principles, you would know that the easiest way to mitigate bitterness in food is to add counterbalancing flavors, such as sweet, sour and salt. Sensory appreciation willallow your clients to begin eating more consciously and intuitively. If clients are struggling with eating too much OR too quickly, challenge them to fully focus on all 5 senses while eating.Sign up for my free report on that contains a 2 page handout you can provide to clients on eating mindfully with the 5 senses.

 

In Academia: sensory methods can enrich the outcomes of clinical research projects. In this month’s issue of the Journalof the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, there is research titled “A Qualitative Study of Family Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors of Mexican-American and Mexican Immigrant Fathers and Mothers” - -this involved heavy use of focus groups which is a tool commonly used by sensory and consumer scientists. In addition, this month’s FEATURE article was “Attention to Food and BeverageAdvertisements as Measured by Eye-Tracking Technology and the Food Preferences and Choices of Youth” – this study utilized a preference question (another sensory consumer research tool) andregression analysis - - a statistical tool commonly used by sensory scientists.

 

In Food Service: Wouldn’t it be great to increase sales of healthy food service options by learning how to conduct targeted sensory research on customer preferences and menudescriptions? Given the right training, RDs can easily take the consumer research tools currently used in the restaurant industry and apply them to a variety of different settings includingschools, hospitals and nursing homes.

 

Working with Kids: One way that sensory science can help RDs work with kids is in the realm of picky eating. For instance, we can teach kids how to identify the 5 basic tastes sothey verbalize what they taste in their food, what they like and what they don’t like. Identify whether a child is a ‘non-taster’, taster, or supertaster and respect the biology of their tastertype. Perhaps a child doesn’t eat broccoli because he/she is a super taster. Remember for kids, it takes 5-10 attempts at trying something new before they can really appreciate it. Most parentsget frustrated after 2 or 3 tries. We as RDs can work with parents of picky eaters so they can understand and better work with the unique sensory preferences of their child.

 

Working with Older Adults: Deterioration of gustatory and olfactory perceptions is among the most serious problems in the life of the elderly. RDs working with the elderly canperform a series of sensory tests to determine basic test perception. There are also odor identification tests that can be purchased to screen elderly patients for loss of smell.

 

Interested in learning more? Sign up for my course: “Sensory Science Secrets: Making Sense of Sensory Evaluation” being held on Tuesday,April 29th @ 8pm EST via live webinar. Can’t make the time, don’t worry - - all registrants will receive access to the recording. Click here to learnmore and to sign up.

 

 

About Sensational Sustenance, LLC
Sensational Sustenance, LLC, is a nutrition and sensory evaluation consulting company serving the Baltimore metro area and beyond. A wide selection of services for businesses, academia and the community are offered: nutrition counseling, corporate health and wellness programs, food demonstrations, supermarket tours, restaurant and recipe menu analysis, sensory evaluation, focus groups and consumer satisfaction surveys. For more information, please visit http://www.sensationalsustenance.com

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Sensational Sustenance, LLC, Nutrition and Sensory Evaluation
Sparks Glencoe, MD
410-343-9209