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Participants Sought to Create Guide for Evaluation of Oral Irritants

Over forty sensory-science professionals have attended recent meetings of Subcommittee E18.04 on Fundamentals of Sensory to discuss evaluation of oral irritants in food and healthcare products. During the April meeting of Committee E18 on Sensory Evaluation in Toronto, the subcommittee formed an Evaluation of Oral Irritants Task Group to develop a standard guide based on input from the meetings.

“There is a lot of interest, but not enough expertise in this area,” says Silvia King, senior sensory scientist, McCormick & Co., Md., who co-chairs the task group with Margery Einstein, Senstek, Inc., Mercer Island, Wash. King invites task-group participation from any company seeking to evaluate their product’s oral irritation, as well as from sensory researchers and manufacturers of food or healthcare products.

“Our initial focus is to write a guide for evaluating finished products where heat is a component,” says King, mentioning foods like red pepper and salsa. “How much heat are people perceiving? How much irritation is there?”

The guide will provide “criteria and appropriate sensory methods for evaluating finished products where chemical heat is perceived.”

For further information, contact Silvia King, McCormick & Co., 204 Wight Ave., Hunt Valley, MD 21031 (410/771-7390; fax: 410/527-6527). Committee E18 meets October 17-19 in Phoenix, Ariz. For meeting or membership information, contact manager Jim Olshefsky (610/832-9714). //

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