| ||What We Do
The Consumer Product Testing Centre (CPTC) is part of the Food Processing Development Branch of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. We work with Alberta’s agri-food industry to develop new food products and processes that help add value to Alberta’s agricultural commodities. Evaluation of many of these new food products takes place at the CPTC where taste panellists sample the foods and give their consumer opinions. This feedback assists the product development teams to determine how acceptable these products are for the market.
CPTC staff maintains a secure database of people over the age of 18 who are periodically recruited to participate in taste panels. Those who meet the demographic requirements for the particular test are asked to participate at a scheduled time and date. All participants receive an honorarium, starting at $15 depending on how much time the test will take, and the type of product that is evaluated. Some of the products we have evaluated include:
- Snack products (potato chips, tortilla chips, kettle chips, snack mixes, crackers)
- Meat products (beef steak, bison steak, fried chicken, chicken fingers, pork chops, deli meats)
- Potatoes and potato products
- Pasta meals
- Sports drinks
- Energy bars
Our centre is located in downtown Edmonton (in the Capital Health Centre), just south of Jasper Avenue on 107 Street.
Here's What’s Involved:
- Fill out a confidential registration form so CPTC staff can contact you about upcoming panel. **Please Note** We are currently unable to use panellists who have allergies to: nuts, seeds, eggs, milk, fish, shellfish, soy, wheat or sulphites
- About one week before a test is conducted, registrants are contacted and asked to fill out a screening questionnaire about general use and liking of the product to be tested, and availability on the day of testing. If you are interested in testing the product type, simply complete and return the questionnaire. CPTC staff review the eligibility of all respondents and book scheduled appointments. Booking is completed at the discretion of CPTC staff.
- Ingredient listings of the products will always be provided for you to review before you begin each evaluation
- During product testing, there will be a simple questionnaire for you to fill out for each sample you evaluate. Most testing takes place in individual evaluation booths, so your opinions remain private.
- Panels usually require 10-30 minutes to complete
- Panel participation is normally limited to 3-4 times a year
- Occasionally we conduct home-use tests that allow panellists to evaluate products in the comfort of their own home
Panellist Do’s and Don’ts
- Be on time
- Let us know in advance if you will be late or unable to attend
- Turn your cell phone off upon arrival
- Ask a staff member if you have any questions
- Spread the word; we are always looking for new panellists
- Eat or smoke thirty minutes before your panel time – this can interfere with taste and smell perception
- Wear excessive amounts of perfume/cologne/body spray
- Talk with other panellists during the evaluation – this can distract them from their evaluation task
- Bring children who cannot be left unsupervised
Our registation form is available as a downloadable Word document or as a PDF.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Please send registration to:
Consumer Product Testing Centre
#106, 10030-107 St
Edmonton, AB T5J 3E4
The personal information on this consumer product testing database registration form is being collected to identify demographic groups for recruiting for panels. The database is the property of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry and is not used for any purpose other than taste panels. This information is collected under the authority of the Freedoms of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and is subject to the provisions of this act. If you have any questions about the data collection, contact Mindy Gerlat, Food Scientist, Consumer Product Testing Centre, #106, 10030-107 St, Edmonton, Alberta, T5J 3E4 or call 780-415-6268. Panellist selection for participation in any taste panel is at the discretion of the Food Processing Development Division personnel.