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Food Science and Human Nutrition Department

Food Science and Human Nutrition Department

Sensory Laboratory

The Food Science sensory lab is a teaching and research facility that provides sensory analysis for industry companies and collaborates frequently with other academia partners at the University of Florida and other universities across the country.  The lab focuses on providing sensory services using quantitative and qualitative testing methods tailored to the client’s testing needs.  Following the highest scientific and industry standard methods, the lab helps to design questionnaires, prepare and run tests, and analyze data to help support all areas of food and beverage development.  The program has been running under the direction of Dr. Charles Sims for the past 20 years.  

  • Facilities

    The sensory facilities includes one testing room with eighteen individual, computerized testing booths, a conference room for focus groups and an industrial test kitchen within the same building. The sensory room has extensive prepping space, a filtered water system, and is temperature and light controlled. Sensory testing and statistical analysis is performed using Compusense® five and Compusense® Cloud software. Additional statistical analysis can be performed using SAS/STAT® software.

    Instrumental measurements such as texture, viscosity, Brix and color may also be provided depending on testing needs.

  • Testing Services

    We have performed extensive sensory testing on a wide range of fresh, process and cooked food and beverage products.

    Our lab focuses on three areas of testing tailored to each client’s needs:

    • Acceptability
    • Difference or Discrimination Testing
    • Descriptive Analysis

    Our services include but are not limited to:

    • Project design – testing protocol and development of screening criteria/questionnaires
    • Project set-up and fielding instructions
    • Panelist recruitment – can screen for candidates that help to meet testing goals
    • Data collection using up to 18 computerized booths for easy data entry using Compusense® software
    • Data analysis using appropriate statistical analysis
    • Explanation of results – detailed reports may be requested

    For specific project services or for any additional information on the laboratory and fees please contact either Dr. Charles Sims ( or Katlyn Nau (

  • Future Panelists

    We are always looking for new panelists to train and have taste in our studies. Panelists will be compensated for their time and will be notified of potential tastings and trainings in advance. If you are interested in learning more about future taste panels please provide your email address to Katlyn Nau (

  • Lab Features

    Our lab has been featured in various publications, see links below:

    UF/IFAS Research

    UF Center for Smell and Taste

Contact Us

The sensory lab is a part of the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida.


Aquatic Food Production Pilot Plant
520 Newell Drive, Bldg 120
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611

Testing inquiries please contact:

Dr. Charles Sims
Professor | 352.294.3592

Katlyn Nau
Food Scientist I | 352.294.3593

Dr. Asli Odabasi
Research Assistant Scientist | 352.924.3596

Dr. Linda Bartoshuk
Bushnell Professor | 352.294.3741