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.  


The sensory facilities includes two testing rooms, each with ten individual, computerized testing booths  for a total of 20 booths, a conference room for focus groups and an industrial test kitchen within the same building. Both sensory rooms have extensive prepping space, are temperature and light controlled, and a filtered water system. 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.

***Pictures of conference room, old room, new room, test kitchen equipment ***

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 20 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 Sara Marshall (

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 below.

Other links

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