Firmenich Expands Global Sensory Panels

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Firmenich will continue to work with blind and visually impaired panelists to assess flavors and fragrances in various sensory panels across the world. By 2017, Firmenich hopes to progress in Geneva, Mumbai and Singapore.

"Blind and visually impaired panelists are a step ahead of those who can see," said David Lyon, global sensory director for perfumery and flavors at Firmenich. “They often demonstrate an acute memory for flavors and odors, and their motivation to train as panelists, often results in them becoming highly proficient sensory professionals in a short timeframe.”

Currently, Firmenich employs 100 sensory panelists (20% being blind or visually impaired) globally. The new panelists receive the same vigorous training as other panelists to learn how to identify and describe highly complex smell and taste profiles, according to the company.

To recruit new panelists, Firmenich works with organizations such as the College of Fragrance for the Visually Impaired (COFVI) in India and the Middlesex Association for the Blind in the United Kingdom.