Flavor professional with a sophisticated tongue
Morinaga Milk has introduced a unique "Taste Panel Meister System" to pursue safety, reliability, and deliciousness.
Professionals certified as Meisters keep a constant eye on quality.
Taste Panel Meister System to nurture guardians of quality
Morinaga Milk introduced the "Taste Panel Meister System" in 2005 to deliver delicious and safe products. We started this system to pursue the critical goal of eliminating products with abnormal flavors in the conviction that "everyone who works at a food company should be sensitive to flavor."
Sensory evaluation of subtle traces of "flavor" with the human tongue is an important element of quality control.
The Taste Panel Meister is a unique certification developed by Morinaga Milk for persons capable of detecting the five tastes perceivable by the human tongue (sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami) at levels near the lower limits of detection by humans. The qualification criteria are so strict, only 62 of the approximately 5,600 certified employees in the Morinaga Milk Group (FY 2016) have earned the certification so far.
The certified Taste Panel Meisters at Morinaga Milk mainly use their keen sense of taste to check and judge slight flavor abnormalities of products. If a Taste Panel Meister senses something off, no matter how slight, during a sensory evaluation, we immediately stop production and investigate the cause.
We also rely on the abilities of our Taste Panel Meisters to create delicious products in the Product development phase.
[Acquiring certification as a Taste Panel Meister]
We carry out discrimination tests at all of our plants, production affiliates, laboratories, and head office to select people with high flavor sensitivity and apply their abilities to quality control and Product development. An employee is certified as a Meister when he or she correctly answers all the questions in a "basic taste discrimination test" and passes a "specific taste discrimination test." The former test checks whether the employee can distinguish between the five tastes (sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami) and no taste at all. The latter test checks whether the employee can distinguish between a normal product and a product whose flavor has been slightly altered. The Meister certification test is held throughout the Morinaga Milk Group once a year. Any employee certified as a Meister for three years running earns the title of "Grand Meister" and is assigned to jobs that make good use of his or her abilities in parallel with his or her ordinary work.