The Inrae center in Dijon offers to eat pizzas to advance research

Less fat, less sugar, less salt. If the food manufacturers hear the message, they do not really know how to go about “reducing the levels without degrading the hedonic appreciation”, explains Pascal Schlich, research director at INRAe in Dijon.

To help them, he had the good idea to launch a participatory research program, which is based on an application called “Croc’noteurs”. It will be the first app to assign a note to the tasting, explains the researcher. At the start, three types of product will be studied: “Ham and cheese pizzas (with or without mushrooms), chocolate chip cookies and sandwich loaves”.

“This is the first time that we are going to set up a database on taste and sensory preference”

Good news for tight budgets: users of the app are compensated in the form of vouchers, at the rate of €3 per pizza, €2 per cookie and €1.50 per sandwich loaf. For each of these products, there are more than a hundred references, identifiable thanks to the barcodes that the croc’noteurs will scan to allow researchers to make the link between the composition of the products and the way in which the product is appreciated.

“These indicators will then make it possible to see how far we can go” in reducing the content of salts, sugar or fats, by comparing the products. “Today, there are a lot of databases on the food supply”, observes Pascal Schlich: “The Nutri-Score (on the nutritional quality of the product), Agribalyse (on its environmental impact), the Nova index ( on its level of transformation)… But this is the first time that we are going to set up a database on taste and sensory preference. »

The researcher hopes to recruit as many men as women. NutriNet-Santé, which is one of the largest ongoing studies to find out the long-term link between diet and health, currently has more than 240,000 participants “but 80% of them are women”, he says. .

Practice. To become a “croc’noteur”, send an email to [email protected]

Alexandra Caccivio


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