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Food Technology - Consumer Testing Center

The Consumer Testing Center is the most recent phase in the University of Maine’s long history in the sensory evaluation of foods.

The Center is located in the Pilot Plant wing of Hitchner Hall. Visitor parking is conveniently located just a few steps away. The hub of the Center is a kitchen for preparing and serving food samples. Two evaluation rooms flank the kitchen, and staff members pass trays with samples through opaque glass windows to volunteers to evaluate. Each of the twelve evaluation booths is equipped with a computer. We use SIMS software to collect and analyze data. Camo Unscrambler software is also used.

Across the hall from the kitchen and evaluation rooms are the CTC office, reception area, and conference room for focus groups and descriptive analysis panels. The Center is adjacent to the Commercial Kitchen teaching laboratory and the Pilot Plant.


Research support is provided for University of Maine faculty, and collaboration is possible with faculty at other institutions. Confidential contract testing services are available for food and consumer product manufacturers. Testing fees vary and potential clients are encouraged to discuss their needs with Dr. Camire.

The facility is also be used by students in the Sensory Evaluation of Foods class, FSN 585.
Recent research projects utilizing the Center include:
* effect of soy diets on trout quality
* acceptability of wild blueberry and soy beverages
* consumer acceptability of new potato cultivars
For additional information, please contact Dr. Mary Ellen Camire: email; phone: 207.581.1627 | fax: 207.581.1636.

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