Sensory research, techniques are focus of Petfood Innovation Workshop in April

Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017

OLATHE — Kansas State University Olathe is hosting an upcoming workshop that spotlights the sensory and consumer science that goes into producing pet food and pet treats.

The Petfood Innovation Workshop is April 3 at K-State Olathe. The theme, "Taste of Pet Food's Future," looks at how sensory research is combined with pet food ingredients and production techniques.

The Petfood Innovation Workshop is part of the Petfood Forum, a Kansas City-based conference and exhibition for the pet food industry currently in its 25th year of operation.

Workshop attendees will learn how to collect and use consumer information to determine critical pet food purchase drivers, how to increase those drivers in new and existing products, and what elements to taste for in pet food. Attendees also will participate in sensory analysis activities that teach them how to use the information collected from studies for pet food validation and claims.

"This year's activities will give participants a greater understanding of the role sensory science plays in product development and marketing," said Bryan Severns, director of food programs and services at K-State Olathe. "Sensory studies are really the only pre-consumer test we have for product rollouts."

Severns is organizing the workshop with Greg Aldrich, research associate professor in grain science and industry at Kansas State University.

K-State Olathe has hosted the Petfood Innovation Workshop for three years. The campus is equipped with a test kitchen, the Sensory and Consumer Research Center and the knowledgeable faculty and staff who specialize in Gold Standard recipes, process development, sensory testing and small-scale research and development.