Boosting the Marketability of Swiss

Jeannine Delwiche, Ph.D., assistant professor in Ohio State University’s Department of Food Science and Technology, recently teamed up with North Carolina State University’s Drake to help Ohio Swiss cheesemakers. The researchers hope to learn what types of flavors consumers are looking for, how the cheeses differ from one another and what steps the cheesemakers potentially could take to boost the attributes deemed most desirable.
Drake modified the defined sensory language she created for cheddar cheese to come up with a descriptive language for Swiss cheese, and then trained her expert panel for the descriptive analysis portion of the project.
Delwiche, whose education is in psychology, was charged with the consumer testing aspects. “A lot of my work is looking at how people differ in their perception of the product,” she explains.
The researchers will use “fairly advanced” probabilistic-type models to try to determine “how many segments there are in the population and what attributes it is people like in Swiss cheese.” says Delwiche.
“I think we’re going to find more than one camp,” she adds.