Three hundred food lovers needed for consumer trials

By Press Office

Over three hundred new food tasters are required to enrol in consumer food trials at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.

Adults of all ages from across the Lothians are urgently needed to join the Consumer Taste Panels run by the University’s Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation. The panels involve people tasting new Scottish food and drinks products including cakes, bakery, dairy, ready meals and meat products – essentially any foods that can be found in a supermarket, as well as new food products that have yet to launch onto the market.

The food panels currently attract many retired people from the local community, as well as all those who are available to attend the University during weekdays. However, due to a new large scale project, the University now requires hundreds of new panelists who have an interest in food and enjoy sharing opinions on the subject.   

Vanessa Durney is a food panel member who lives in Musselburgh. She said: “I’ve really enjoyed taking part in taste trials as we get the opportunity to taste premium brand products, basic ranges and new products that are in the development phase. The taste trials take part in the University’s Sensory Evaluation Suite and we don’t see any labelling, branding, production information or packaging. This helps ensure there are less influencing factors and that we provide an unbiased response. People’s palate and opinions can differ wildly, so the conversations after the tastings are always very interesting.”

No previous experience is necessary to take part in the sessions, but all participants should be over 18 and should not have any dietary restrictions or food allergies.

Panelists are rewarded with a choice of gift vouchers from either John Lewis or Amazon – anything between £10 - £15 - as a thank you for attending. Panels run regularly throughout the year and panelists are free to apply for as many or as few sessions as they wish.

If you would like to find out more information, or to sign up as a consumer panel taster, please email Lucy MacLellan of QMU Food & Drink Consumer Tasting Panel on E: 


Notes to Editor

For further media information please contact Lynne Russell, Communications Manager, Queen Margaret University on T: 0131 474 0000, M: 07711 011239, E:

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