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Sensory Analyst

Sample food products to check for off tastes.

What does a Sensory Analyst do?

Sensory Analysts use one sense, or sometimes a combination of senses, to test and analyze products before companies send them out to be sold to consumers. Of course, in this industry, your most prized asset is your taste buds. Some would say that Sensory Analysts are glorified Taste Testers, but businesses understand how their expertise keeps their food products fresh, good tasting, and safe.

You’ve probably noticed the expiration date stamped on most food packages indicating when a product goes bad. As arbitrary a date as it might seem, that number is set by a team of professionals that includes a Sensory Analyst. You use your palate to determine when something no longer tastes its best and should be thrown out.

Eventually, your taste buds may become refined enough to pick apart individual components in a recipe. You can easily detect the taste of traces of chemicals in foods. Often, these chemicals are harmless and are normal ingredients in a recipe, but that doesn’t mean they’re pleasant to taste.

You make sure nothing with an odd texture or tainted smell hits the market. The data you collect during tests is analyzed, and you must be perceptive to spot important spikes and patterns that mean a product’s taste is inconsistent and won’t sell very well.

You might be the only person in your family who can smell that one rotten piece of fruit hidden in the fridge, or the one who always points out that there’s too much salt in a dish. Your sensitivity may make you a bit unpopular at the dinner table, but companies need your taste buds to analyze their products. To them, you’re a precious commodity.