Fifth Sense and our partners FlavorActiV have begun a pioneering pilot study to test the abilities of taste and smell disorder sufferers in detecting the basic tastes (salt, sweet, sour, bitter, umami) in varying concentrations, and to determine if regular tasting can improve detection levels.
A group of volunteer Fifth Sense members, including people from the Netherlands and Australia, are being sent four rounds of blind samples and asked to identify which flavour is present. The results will be fed into FlavorActiV’s Taster Validation Scheme, where they will be analysed after each round by in-house sensory experts, who will then advise each participant to alter the concentration levels accordingly. It is hoped that volunteers will have improved, or categorically ruled out, their ability to detect the tastes as a result of this study.
FlavorActiV sent out packs containing the samples and instructions (see photo below) to the volunteers at the beginning of February for the first of four ’rounds’ of tasting. The result of this pilot study will be published in summer 2016.
The findings will aid the development of a take home Taste Kit for self-diagnosis and training, and a Taste Loss Scale to accurately determine level of taste loss. This will provide members with essential information to understand their own limitations and possibly discover previously unknown tasting abilities, an important step in developing skills and confidence.
For more information see http://www.flavoractiv.com/2016/02/flavoractiv-fifth-sense-pilot-2016/