SOSA Miriam Patricia
congresos y reuniones científicas
Methodology for sensory quality control of purchases targeted at food aid programs
SOSA, HOUGH, CONTARINI, MARTINEZ Y MARQUEZ
Congreso; 8th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium; 2009
In Argentina, like in many other countries, there are food aid programs targeted at low-income populations. When government agencies purchase foods for these programs they usually consider economic, nutritious, physical, chemical and microbiological aspects; however, sensory characteristics are rarely contemplated. Often these programs are optimized nutritionally and economically, but fail due to their low acceptability. In a first stage, eating habits and perception of food aid were studied among low-income populations. In two low-income districts of Buenos Aires State- Argentina, one district with lower income than the other, focus group sessions were held, 2 in each district. All participants in the sessions were receiving food aid at the time. Regarding food aid, four demands emerged from the focus groups: The food provided should have good sensory properties. Necessary and culturally appropriate foods should be included. Culturally inappropriate foods or those demanding long cooking times (associated to high energy expenditure) should be excluded. Food aid was usually insufficient. In a second stage, methodology was developed to control sensory quality of food purchases targeted at food-aid programs. Time and sensory facility limitations were considered. An instruction booklet with the developed methodology was published. The booklet has easy to follow instructions, detailed procedures, real examples and necessary illustrations. The electronic version of the booklet is freely available, albeit in Spanish.