The Fourayes Food Development Taste Panel

The FFD Taste Panel

Good food has to taste good, which is why Fourayes Farm in Sittingbourne in Kent has set up a “taste panel” to develop new fruit recipes. The panel includes members of the public who have volunteered to take part, and is led by Ian Dowding, the famous inventor of the Banoffee Pie.

Ian on taste panel for new fruit recipesIan has been working in the food industry for 35 years and says this is one of the most fascinating jobs he’s ever had. “I’m amazed at how similar food development is in a restaurant and at Fourayes where they are producing enormous amounts of fruit products. The quality is the same, so are the textures and very importantly, the taste”. Ian teaches the panel how to taste so that the members can become more creative in planning new combinations of foods.

Ann Welton from Maidstone replied to a newspaper advertisement to become part of the tasting panel. She’s a keen cook at home but has never had anything to do with the fruit processing industry before. “Ian is amazing”, she says” I had no idea how important smell was to taste and it’s more difficult to tell different flavours than I thought it would be.”

Phil Acock, Managing Director of Fourayes, is on the panel himself, but he knows the really important taste experts are the general public. “We want to know what people think so we need people on the panel who are our consumers. They are completely objective about taste and I hope we will come up with some revolutionary new recipes.”

Jam taste tasting at FourayesFourayes Food Development is already working on some new ideas. Cranberries are being added to mincemeat, along with blueberries and pecans. And there’s a new taste in the pipeline too. “Salted toffee”. Jenny Tunbridge works in new product development at Fourayes and she is watching the taste panel carefully. “Ian educates us all in how to use all our senses in tasting and it is making me more adventurous and curious to try out new things.”

The taste panel will be working together over the summer to come up with new ideas for recipes. There’s certainly the potential for them to invent something as inspired and delicious as Banoffee Pie.

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