Put your nose to the test

Published 25 August 2008

If you think you’ve got a nose for detecting flavours, Southern Cross University would like to put your senses to the test.

Researchers at the University’s Centre for Phytochemistry and Pharmacology are looking for volunteers who are interested in food, flavours and aromas to join a dairy sensory panel.

The study is part of an Australian Research Council project, being done in collaboration with Norco Co-operative Limited, looking at the chemical components that influence the flavour and quality of milk under different pasture management systems.

The project is designed to substantially increase the penetration of Australian milk into the Asian import market for dairy products and stimulate growth in the dairy industry.

Associate Professor Carol Morris, director of the Centre for Phytochemistry and Pharmacology, said the purpose of the dairy panel was to detect odours in milk samples and rate their intensity. People on the panel would only be required to smell the milk, not taste it.

“We are inviting people who are interested to come along to one practice session, where they will be asked to smell and describe various compounds. From that session we’ll be able to determine who is most suited to taking part in the dairy panel,” Professor Morris said.

“The panellists will then need to take part in 12, one-hour training sessions during September and October at the Lismore campus. The actual measurement sessions will be in late February, April and June next year.”

The initial practice sessions will be held on August 28 and 29, with the training due to start on September 3. Anyone who is interested in becoming a potential panelist should contact Victoria Westbrooke on 6622 3211, or via e-mail on v.westbrooke.10@scu.edu.au

Media contact: Brigid Veale, Southern Cross University communications manager, 02 66593006 or 0439 680 748.