FOOD PRODUCT QUALITY EVALUATION DIVISION (FPQE)
Food Quality is the measure of the desirability of any food product and is one of the factors that influences consumer preference and acceptability of a food product. Reasons for testing product quality include: to determine the effects of variations in processing on quality, to know the consumers’ preference, to detect the presence of off quality/ deterioration in food product quality and for the purpose of research and development in the development of new food products.
The Food Product Quality Evaluation Division in FIIRO houses into three major Sections: Sensory Evaluation section, The Animal House and Food shelf life studies section.
SENSORY EVALUATION SECTION
Humans have five senses: taste, smell, touch, sight and sound. All these are important when eating and if anyone is missing the acceptability of the food product is not complete. Sensory evaluation is a science that involves the use of one or more tests to assess the different qualities of food.
Sensory evaluation is used to improve the sensory qualities of a food product to ensure inter-batch consistency. It is conducted to understand the sensory characteristics of the product and how they influence the consumers’ preference. It enables one to understand how products perform against competitors’ products in relation to consumers’ perceptions and sensory characteristics. It is also conducted to determine whether or not consumers can detect differences between products or changes in the product due to recipe modification. . The different types of sensory evaluations tests includes
The sensory evaluation section is actively involved in all the stages of R & D operations for food product development and processing in the Institute.
The section undertakes sensory evaluation for projects students from tertiary institutions as well as for private and corporate food processors. The section also ensures screening, training and retraining of sensory panelists.
The features of the sensory evaluation section include: sophisticated sensory booths housed in a sensory evaluation laboratory that conform to international standards (separate air conditioning maintained at (23±2OC) and relative humidity of (40±5%),
A preparation and serving area, Glass wares and containers for sensory evaluation of a wide variety of food products, Statistical evaluation of sensory data and special soft wares for analysis of data generated.
Some of the recent sensory evaluations conducted include:
- Sensory evaluation of Bread cake
- Sensory evaluation of Biscuits
- Sensory evaluation of 72-hr fermented African Yam Beans (From Biotechnology Department)
- Sensory evaluation of Ogi( pap) with Sprinkles
- Sensory evaluation of Smoked Fish – contract product analysis
- Sensory evaluation of NUNU Drink – contract product analysis
- Sensory evaluation of Biscuits
- Sensory evaluation of Bread cake
- Sensory evaluation of Bread – contract product analysis
- Shelf life studies of High Nutrients Density Biscuits for School feeding (six months storage studies)
- Sensory evaluation of FIIRO Developed Sports drinks from indigenous fruits
- Consumer Acceptability studies of High Nutrients Density Biscuits for School feeding in Schools around Lagos.
- Sensory evaluation of Rice Crisps
- Sensory evaluation of Bean flour chips.
- Sensory evaluations of Food R&D Products during shelf life studies.
ANIMAL SECTION (ANIMAL RESEARCH LABORATORY)
The animal section is saddled with day-to-day aspect of animal experiment which involves the designing, monitoring, execution and evaluation of all animal research in the entirety of Food Technology Department is domiciled and executed in the animal section of the Division. The Animal section gives life and applied meaning to most of the researches carried out in the Department with added beauty.
In the Animal house laboratory, we conduct efficacy studies, toxicological studies (gastro-intestinal, skin, eye), analytical studies, carcinogenic and genetic studies, fundamental biological research studies, physiological and pharmacological studies, biomedical and cosmetic tests research studies and other specialized contractual studies.
In the FQE Animal Section, we also conduct contract research, whereby other Institutions and Organizations can come in to key into our state of the art Animal House to carry out their researches and make use of the available facilities and cages for digestibility trials. Where animals are used in research processes, they are used as part of a range of scientific process techniques which might include human trials, computer modelling, and cell culture among others. Animals are only used for parts of research where no other technique can deliver the answer and in FIIRO, we make use of expertise of our Scientists in this field of study to add value to human life and well-being. Major breakthroughs in science had been through serious compelling efforts in the use of animals and animal researches give better credence and add to the veracity of the results of most researches.
In the Federal Institute of Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), the Animal Section had just concluded research into two major on-going researches, namely: the Fish Meal Analogue research and Ready to Use Therapeutic Food(RUTF) for the Severe Acutrely Malnourished (SAM) children.
SHELF LIFE STUDIES SECTION
Shelf life studies is an integral part of product development and it’s used to determine the influence of different storage conditions and packaging materials as well as length of storage on the nutrient quality, organoleptic and structural properties of food. It is also used to evaluate the impact of storage on the integrity of the food product.
This section works alongside the sensory evaluation section. A lot of biochemical analyses, physicochemical, microbiological and chemical analyses are also conducted. The influence of various storage conditions ranging from ambient storage to refrigerated and frozen storage as well as extreme storage conditions are evaluated with periodic sensory analysis. Accelerated storage studies are also often conducted on food products. The period of study for most food products range from 3months to 12 months. Some may even extend to 2years.
In general the Product Quality Evaluation division is equipped with Research scientists with different areas of specializations. These include Food technologists, Biochemists, Agric. Scientists, Physiologists as well as technologists all working in synergy to ensure adequate and effective Food quality evaluations. We also offer advices to researchers on experimental designs at the inception of Food product R & D projects.
Contact the Division
Oluwatoyin Victoria Oke, MSc (Food Technology)
Chief Research Officer and Head, Product Quality Evaluation Division
Food Technology Department
Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi,