Sensory Evaluation Center
The Sensory Evaluation Center is the most recent phase in the University of Maine’s long history in the sensory evaluation of foods.
The Center is located in the Pilot Plant wing of Hitchner Hall. Visitor parking is conveniently located just a few steps away. The hub of the Center is a kitchen for preparing and serving food samples. Two evaluation rooms flank the kitchen, and staff members pass trays with samples through opaque glass windows for volunteers to evaluate. Twelve tablet computers enable us to collect data in our booths designed to meet ASTM specifications or in the field, which can be anywhere with a wireless internet connection. These computers were provided through a MTAF grant from the Maine Technology Institute. We use SIMS software to collect and analyze data. Several statistical software programs are also available for advanced analyses.
Across the hall from the kitchen and evaluation rooms are the Sensory Evaluation Center office, reception area, and conference room for focus groups and descriptive analysis panels. The Center is adjacent to the Commercial Kitchen teaching laboratory and the Pilot Plant.
Research support is provided for University of Maine faculty, and collaboration is possible with faculty at other institutions, government researchers and private companies. Confidential contract testing services are available for food and consumer product manufacturers. We also provide training for companies that wish to begin or refine their in-house sensory evaluation programs. Testing fees vary and potential clients are encouraged to discuss their needs with Dr. Camire well before testing is required. Researchers and companies who are applying for a grant to fund sensory evaluation research should contact Dr. Camire no later than 20 full business days before the proposal/application is due. The University of Maine Office of Research Administration (ORA) has a specific timetable for proposals and sub-contracts to proposals that we must adhere to. For more information on the ORA timeline, please visit their site Proposal Submission Policy Timeline.pdf.
The facility is also used by students in the Sensory Evaluation I (FSN 585) and Sensory Evaluation II (FSN 586) classes as well as other courses related to product and process development. Our Center is unique in New England and provides students with strong backgrounds in consumer research, product development and sensory evaluation.
Do you live in the greater Bangor, Maine area and would like to be notified of our upcoming sensory tests? If so please email sensory.evaluation@ maine.edu, or visit our page or Facebook page- University of Maine Sensory Evaluation Center.