Food Trails: Product Research and Development

Evaluating food by a panel of specialists or consumers for critiquing is termed as a food trial.

Food trials can be of different types-

  • Trials while opening a new establishment, or introducing new dishes or menu to existing establishment. Food trials are done for two primary reasons- first to train the staff to be able to produce the product as per the standard recipe and presentations and to moderate the recipes and create new standard recipes before the launch of the product.

The tasting panel could comprise of the regular guests, food specialists, chefs, Food & Beverage professionals from the industry or a select group of consumers.

The recipes are refined with the advice of the food tasters.

  • Trial as a recruitment tool for hiring new staff for a food production operation. A  panel of judges comprising of chefs, human resource manager evaluate the food so as to judge the skill level of the aspirant or the candidate. This enables the organization to hire the right person for the right job.

The candidate is provided with ingredients and resources and is allowed to prepare a menu for evaluation. Post presentation, the food is judged on various parameters such as workflow and food hygiene and sanitation, appearance, taste, texture, flavour etc.

This evaluation is done by minimum 3 persons and the average score decides the selection of the candidate. The three components- right attitude, knowledge and skill of the candidate make them the most suitable one.


Quality is the ultimate criterion of the desirability of any food product. It can be evaluated by following 2 methods-

  1. Sensory or organoleptic evaluation- subjective
  2. Objective methods