Finding the Perfect Bite
Each year, Driscoll’s flavor-tests more than 500 selected varieties from test plots around the world.
In these flavor tests, berry-testers provide their feedback on the flavor, aroma, visual appearance, and texture of the berries. To help ensure unbiased feedback from testers, Driscoll’s sensory analysts (like Joy Maker Henry) use measures such as filling the testing room with red light so the tasters cannot perceive the color of the berries. Based on tester responses, the Joy Makers make recommendations to other members on the Driscoll’s team as to which berry selections they should continue to test and breed.
Some employees are trained to become experts on figuring out what people love. Through trained employee panels, testers provide feedback on berry taste. They’ll discuss the texture and how crunchy, juicy, or mealy a berry might be. Berries also get their own taste profile to understand how sweet, bitter or sour a berry might be. Taste testers also answer questions about flavor. A strawberry, for example, may have a caramel flavor, or a grassy flavor, or a woody or mint flavor.