PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Calling all food critics! Oregon State University is offering to pay people to taste coffee and seafood at its Food Innovation Center in Portland.
The coffee taste test will take place Tuesday, Aug. 23 between 9 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. The tasting sessions are 45 minutes and participants will be paid $50. They will try four different beverages.
The university warns that some samples will contain dairy. Anyone interested can apply online.
The taste test needs more than 300 people and as of Thursday, OSU said it still needs a few more people to sign up.
The research is for a private company in the Northwest and will help guide its product distribution.
Participants can also receive $50 for taking part in a paid seafood taste test from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2. Samples will include albacore, black cod and Coho salmon prepared by a chef from Portland restaurant Paley’s Place.
The seafood testing sessions will last 45 to 60 minutes.
Participants must be 18 or older to participate in the beverage test.
OSU said the tasting program is paid for through a grant from NOAA and the research from the study will guide the fishing industry. There is also an online application for the seafood taste test.
Ann Colonna, the sensory program director at the Food Innovation Center, couldn’t provide specific details on how the research from this food testing will be used, but said, “This research will be good for the planet as a whole.”
Colonna gave an example of a previous seafood test and explained how its research was used. In that test, participants compared seafood that had been frozen to seafood that had never been frozen.
The study showed that people preferred frozen seafood because its freshness is locked in sooner after it’s caught. Seafood that hasn’t been frozen loses some of its freshness in transport and while it waits in a store to be purchased.
Colonna said a third of all seafood goes to waste and this previous study helped seafood providers learn what to do with their catch and how it can best be used.
This current test will also be exploring consumer preferences.
OSU said all kinds of taste testers are needed for different types of research.
Those who taste test are paid with cash or a Visa card.