Ng, M.K.; Moore, C.J.; Adhikari, K.; Andress, E.L.; Henes, S.T.; Lee, J.S.; Cox, G.O.
Federal nutrition education programs utilize recipe demonstrations to engage with low-income participants and promote healthy eating behaviors; however, recipes created for these programs are developed in state extension offices or in collaboration with local cooks/chefs, and the fit of the recipes within their educational programming is subjective. Thus, a sensory evaluation methodology was developed to support recipe and curricula development. It is intended for use with a unique population of low-income participants of federal nutrition education programs in central locations. The inclusion of sensory evaluation methods allows state extension staff to make sensory attribute-specific improvements to their recipes prior to implementing them in their curricula. This article will detail the methodology that has been used for two successful studies in the community and briefly explain the researchers' “lessons learned,” suggested statistical analyses and relationships to analyze, and the future implications of this methodology. Practical Applications: To encourage behavior change and promote healthy eating, nutrition education programs can utilize this sensory evaluation methodology to guide their recipe development and curricula decisions. The inclusion of sensory evaluation may present with an upfront higher recipe testing cost and increased time required by stakeholders to provide feedback, but it offers a deeper understanding of the target audiences' likes and dislikes. This information can be used to determine gaps in information on specific foods or nutrients within nutrition education lessons, to improve upon the recipe offerings in direct education, and to inform recipe development as new recipes are introduced to the target audience. Finally, the addition of questions related to preparation or purchase intent may allow content developers of these programs to infer the practicality of the recipes and predict behavior change. © 2022 The Authors. Journal of Sensory Studies published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.