Consistent lighting, neutral-coloured walls and furniture. The interior design of BRITA’s sensory lab is very minimal – for a good reason. Nothing should distract the testers or influence their senses. After all, their work is a decisive factor in the quality of BRITA filtered water.
Plans to build an in-house sensory lab and create a BRITA panel originated back in 2013. Finally, in November 2015, CEO Markus Hankammer inaugurated the tasting room. After extensive remodelling, the prep room followed in February 2016. And with it a long-awaited dream came true for Birgit Kohler, Senior Manager for Organoleptic at BRITA and one of the few official water sommelières in Germany. Birgit Kohler knows a lot about food sensory science and great taste. Especially when it comes to water. Thanks to its own lab and team of professional testers, BRITA can work flexibly and independently. A milestone in the company’s history.
One room, many possibilities
Tests take place in the sensory laboratory. Artificial light and minimal design keep the atmosphere neutral. This ensures the surroundings remain the same at every time of day or year, so they don’t influence how testers perceive taste. The tasting room can accommodate up to twelve testers at once. The testing booths can be adapted to suit each test. “This creates a space for us to work without disruption. At the same time, testers can easily speak to each other”, explains Birgit Kohler about the concept she designed.
Collecting and studying
BRITA’s sensory lab strives to do one thing: objective taste analysis. Ideally, all relevant business units at the company can use the results. BRITA also actively exchanges with international sensory experts. The insights gained in the tests and the professional transfer of knowledge are among BRITA’s core competences. “For decades, we only talked about taste”, says Kohler. “Today we actually measure it ourselves”, adds Alexandra Merz, Test Team Head. The test results then flow into various projects and products, ultimately improving water’s taste. And not just in theory but also in practice. Because everyone should enjoy great taste.