It was another hectic week here at the FIC. We had a sensory test, Crop Up at FIC, and lots of preparation to do for my project. The sensory test we had this week was an interesting one because it was at an off-site location, not at our facility. The client was a local company who would like to test their prototype of a plant-based multi-vitamin drink mix. The taste test was held at the Oregon Convention Center during the Specialty Crops Block Grant Program national conference. Although the convention center is only less than 10 minutes away from our office, off-site testing needs a thorough preparation beforehand to make sure we have all the supplies we need. In this case, we had to set up Compusense Commuter, our data acquisition software, to multiple laptops so that we the panelists could fill out the survey in these laptops. However, the limited amount of laptops required us to also have paper ballots ready. This way, more people could take the test at a given round. I would say the test went well and was not as challenging as I thought it would be. We only tested one beverage sample, so it was only a matter of pouring the drink into cups. I could only imagine how challenging it would be if we had multiple samples that had more steps into their preparation.
Once we were done with the taste test, we went back to the FIC to drop off the test supplies and other things. Then, we went to the conference dinner at OMSI. During the dinner, there were a few presentations from the beer, wine, kombucha, and cider associations. We also got to taste the beverages while we listened to the presentations.
The next day, we had our third Crop Up at the FIC. I helped stuffing the goodie bags, setting up the tables, checking guests in, and being one of the servers. This was our biggest Crop Up yet with more than 200 guests and nearly 20 vendors. I think we could’ve done this Crop Up better, we might be a little be overwhelmed with the 200 guests, but we had really good feedbacks from the satisfied guests.
On Thursday morning, I helped Michaela with her watermelon project. The project’s objective is to determine which sanitizing solution will clean the watermelon surface the best and thus having the longest shelf life. We had four different sanitizing solution: ozone, chlorine, paracetic acid, and P10. We also had some watermelons refrigerated, while others are at room temperature. There were 8 treatments in total, plus 2 controls, and we replicated each treatment 3 times.