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K-State Today

April 19, 2013

Sensory Analysis Center leads beef flavor training

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

Kansas State University's Sensory Analysis Center has received a $35,000 grant to train researchers from industry and academia on sensory evaluation of beef flavors.

The center is lead partner in the training, funded by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. The first session will be May 13-15 at Kansas State University Olathe.

Trainers will use a standardized beef flavor lexicon that the center developed. "We will help standardizes how we describe beef flavor so researchers around the world are on the same page," said Edgar Chambers IV, principal investigator on the grant and director of the center.

"Standardization is important because the flavor of beef changes when we change the way we process it to make it even safer in the food system. As beef production becomes more sustainable through different feeding regimens, flavors change, too. Cattlemen and processors want to understand what they are offering consumers and to understand what consumers want," said Chambers, a university distinguished professor.

Sensory evaluation of beef includes such attributes as texture, flavor and aroma.

The sensory team includes Delores Chambers, professor and director of the Sensory Analysis Center; Koushik Adhikari, associate professor; and Marianne Swaney-Stueve, research assistant professor and manager of the Sensory and Consumer Research Center at K-State Olathe. They will conduct the training with a faculty member from Texas A&M University, the collaborator on the project.

Chambers expects up to 30 attendees, most of them from North America. They will return to their institutions or companies to train their sensory panels, he said.

The College of Human Ecology Sensory Analysis Center on the Manhattan campus provides testing services to companies worldwide and maintains satellite centers in Olathe and in Bangkok, Thailand. It offers a master of science and a doctorate program in sensory analysis through the department of human nutrition.