Chinese consumers are starting to pay more attention to the flavor of food ingredients. As a result, a growing number of test mechanisms for food ingredients have appeared on the market. Mr. He Duo, founder of Fruit Notice, recently talked about this new concept of testing flavors and its practical applications.
"There is an information asymmetry in many markets between producers on side and and consumers on the other side. On the one hand, producers do not have sufficient knowledge about consumer demands. On the other hand, consumers do not fully understand the information that is available on product packaging. We are developing a method to provide feedback on the flavor of ingredients that will help to solve this information asymmetry."
Mr. He further explained, "Take oranges for example, we distinguish the consumer's sensory perceptions into five areas: sweet and sour taste; how juicy the orange is; how much pulp there is in the juice; how full the flavor is; and how easily the orange can be peeled. We grade the oranges in each of these five categories. We carefully select and train our employees to develop their sensory perception. They assess the fruit products and provide feedback. Each product is assessed by at least 15 team-members. Their sensory experiences are then turned into numerical data. A well-designed algorithm calculates an overall numerical value that provides a comprehensive score for the flavor of oranges. This final score is printed on the packaging of the oranges in question. When consumers purchase oranges, this score provides them with the end-result of comprehensive, sensory tests."
"Our score system can tell consumers, for example, that the flavor of the the September harvest of Hong oranges from Yichang in Hubei was excellent and without pulp, while the Bintang oranges from Hunan had a wonderful balance of sweet and sour," explained Mr. He.
"In the case of grapes, for example, there are a large number of grape varieties in the market. Their flavors are diverse. However, consumers can not taste the grapes before they purchase them. We can. We subject the grapes to numerous tests to inform the consumer. We test the sweetness and sourness of the grapes; whether they have seeds or not; how easily they are peeled; how juicy they are; how fragrant they are; and how pulpy the fruit flesh is."
"Flavor is an important consideration for consumers, but there is no way to gather the flavor from the information on the packaging. We believe that the demand for this type of information will grow as the living standards in China continue to rise and consumers gradually change their consumer ideas. We aim to provide consumers precisely with this information," claimed Mr. He.
"There currently are only a few companies that provide this kind of sensory feedback on fruit products. The government also does not yet recognize the certification of sensory product testers. We therefore work hard to show the consumers that our testers are fair and objective. We hope to build the confidence of consumers in our services."
"We have already provided several hundred companies with our services since the inception of our program. In the future we hope to further expand our services to even more clients. We mainly communicate the results to consumers through social media. We rely on such technological platforms as WeChat, Weibo, and Douyin," said Mr. He.
For more information:
Mr. He Duo
Tel.: +86 13813826255