Most people have not heard of sensory science, a field of study taught at UC Davis, Cal Poly, University of Illinois, and Cornell, among others. These methods are important for our agricultural community and for key industries in Sonoma County, the wine and olive oil industries, of which youth may be involved with as adults. If locally grown products taste better, we also need data and descriptions to help demonstrate this to our community.
How will 4-H help?
Taste the Difference may help create a competitive advantage for Sonoma County products and teach a career path in sensory science to our 4-H youth. Locally grown Sonoma County products are highlighted at community stores – do these products actually taste better than nationally distributed ones? If we could demonstrate and communicate a clear taste difference using scientific sensory methodology, we may be able to expand the marketplace for Sonoma Country products. We will teach youth about scientific methodology used to measure consumer perception, learn about career and educational opportunities in sensory science and inform our community about real taste/texture differences in locally grown agricultural products. Through various research reports, the project will support and promote Sonoma Country Agriculture and could be used to highlight the sensory experience of locally grown products.