General news stories and articles from Dure Foods

How Do You Become A Food Taster?

How Do You Become A Food Taster?

“Professional Food Taster” sounds like a good job – but is it?

You might picture someone who gorges on chocolates all day, taking breaks between bites only long enough to quickly scribble notes before indulging again. But as pro tasters will tell you, it’s not all about just eating.

Lisa Schroeder is an associate sensory scientist, in other words, a professional taster, for Mars Wrigley Confectionery U.S. Between bites of Snickers, M&M’s, and Skittles, Schroeder takes time to create computer programs to evaluate products, plans ahead for product launches, runs taste-testing panel sessions, and continues her own tasting education.

When she’s not taste testing soup, Jane Freiman, director of the Campbell’s Soup Co. consumer test kitchen, is evaluating new recipes and running taste panels.

Elizabeth McCall, master taster for distiller Woodford Reserve, doesn’t sip bourbon all day long – for obvious reasons. McCall spends time speaking at events, hosting tastings for clients, and improving the brand’s procedures and production facility.

If you’re still on board to become a taster, these three women can tell you how to do it.

Have a superior sense of taste.

Simply put, you can’t become a taster without a strong sense of taste—with the ability to focus on complex layers of flavors and differentiate them.

In fact, when you apply for a job as a professional taster, your tongue is the real interviewee, says Schroeder. “You [will] go through multiple screenings that focus on your experience with food and how you taste things,”

Learn to speak taste.

An excellent sense of taste alone won’t get you very far as a professional if you can’t communicate what you’re experiencing. “Learning how to describe foods and their attributes is a key part of the role,” Freiman says.

“For example, I cannot just say a product tastes ‘good.’ But I can describe a lemon with ‘it’s sweet but tart with a harsh bite.’”

Train the palate.

Here’s what McCall’s palate training was like: “We had aroma jars with different attributes and worked on creating the sensory memory of the different flavors,” she recalls.

Schroeder says she underwent six months of training. “I was trained to identify and refer back to specific tastes, textures, and other aspects of the ingredients we use,” she describes.

No culinary school necessary.

“Contrary to what many people might think, you do not need to go to culinary school to become a professional taste tester,” says Freiman. “I didn’t.”

Of course, Freiman admits she works with people who did graduate from culinary school.

“But,” she says, “I find it more important that a candidate is hard working, curious, and has a passion for food. This career takes years of dedication and training—and having such a love for this [career and for food] really makes the difference.”

Understand the evolving consumer.

It’s also important to stay in touch with what consumers are demanding.

“In this role, you must regularly talk to consumers about their taste preferences, learn how they cook, and what new foods they are interested in,” says Freiman.

With this information, you’ll be better armed to recommend recipe changes based on taste and consumer demand.

Never stop learning and refining your palate.

“There is always an opportunity to improve” says McCall as a professional taster.

She advises, “really pay attention while you are eating and drinking, think about the flavors and always work on describing what you are eating—in and out of work—even if you are just describing it to yourself,” she says.

In agreement, Schroeder points out:“Attend trainings when you can, even on products outside of your area of expertise.”

“Overall, my No. 1 piece of advice for an aspiring taste tester is to expand your food horizons and to try all kinds of foods,” Schroeder says.

It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

10 Amazing Powdered Food Products You Never Knew Existed

10 Amazing Powdered Food Products You Never Knew Existed

“Cue the Crickets” Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Silence Anymore – It May Mean Dinner’s On!

What’s more straightforward than adding a scoop of powder to your morning smoothie to enjoy on the go? Keep some of the following powdered food products in your drawer at the office. They offer a healthy and convenient alternative to unhealthy vending machine snacks.

We’re willing to bet that you’ll be surprised about the variety of powdered food products available on the market today.

Powdered food products:

  • Are more convenient
  • Take up less storage space
  • Last longer than their fresh counterparts. They’re perfect for the busy person on the go.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is high in healthy fats, low in carbs, and high in protein. Now it’s become even more versatile. Use it in smoothies or to add flavour to your yogurt or oatmeal. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try some in your coffee?

Cocoa Powder

If you’re a chocoholic, we don’t need to convince you of the health benefits of chocolate. If you want the nutrient boost without the extra fat and sugar of a chocolate bar, use cocoa powder instead. Use it to liven up your chia seed porridge in the morning, add to coffee, or add to your smoothie.

Cocoa powder is one cheat that you can enjoy without the guilt.


Yogurt is a staple in most refrigerators. Plain yogurt is an excellent source of protein and calcium. It also has a relatively short shelf-life. The big tubs are more economical, but they’re also more likely to end up going sour before you’re finished with them.

Powdered yogurt might be the best thing since sliced bread. It’s perfect for taking on a camping trip – all you need to do is to add water, and it’s ready. It’s also a great way to add extra flavour to sauces, dressings and dips.


Let’s take a quick poll here. Who likes the taste of kale? It gives new meaning to the word superfood. It’s packed with nutrients and is an excellent source of Vitamin K. If you battle to choke it down, though, get the powdered version.

Add it to smoothies to disguise the flavour and get the full benefit.


We love the sticky stuff, but it’s messy. The powdered version is simple to dispense and provides a range of possibilities for popcorn and nuts.

Fruit and Veggies

Green powders offer an easy way for you to supplement your five a day. No peeling or prep required.


Milk – you either love it or hate it. There’s no denying that it provides a quick boost of energy, though. Powdered milk is making a comeback. (If you’re old enough, you’ll remember hating it as a child.) For adults, it’s quite convenient, especially if you like hiking or camping.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds offer protein and tons of fibre. That is if you can put up with the slimy texture. If you can’t don’t miss out – choose the powdered variety instead.

Brazil nuts

When you don’t have the time to crack open a few brazil nuts, get the benefits by adding them in powder form instead.


Bugs are showing promise as one of the top protein sources. There are even those who suggest them as a more environmentally friendly substitute for beef. Now, what they’d be like on the barbecue we can’t say. But adding them to a morning smoothie makes them more palatable.