Atomic Tasters (Aug, 1957)

Atomic Tasters

ATOMIC tasters with extra-sharp taste buds are putting their unusual talents to work sampling foods we may be eating tomorrow. At research laboratories at Barrington and Maywood, 111., American Can Co. taste experts compare the flavors of canned meats and other foods that have been preserved by the traditional heat treatment with foods from the same sources preserved by irridation—gamma rays which kill bacteria and preserve the food.

Canco’s official tasters must have exceptionally good flavor perception—a sixth sense that improves with practice—unusually good health and be free from fatigue and worry. They should have no strong food likes or dislikes. Food is always tasted at normal serving temperature. On the average, a taster is given about 30 seconds for “taste recovery” between servings. Tasters never swallow the food.’ To be sure that the tasters are in good form some food samples are duplicated in each series of tests. If a taster does not give an identical report on the duplicates, his opinions on the series are discarded. Working in his own booth, see photo, where he can taste without distraction, each atomic food tester labors on the food we’ll be savoring in the future.

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