The Sensory Lab employs about twenty part-time food science and dietetic students to give hands-on experience with material learned in their classes. Panelists are drawn from all departments on campus and the surrounding community and are screened prior to testing by an experienced recruiter to fit desired paneling criteria. The Sensory Lab is considered by some to be the best place to work or visit on the BYU campus!

Jennifer Thurgood

We would like to welcome Jennifer Thurgood as the newest member of our staff. She is the new Food Technology Research Center Manager. Jennifer is a graduate from Utah State University in 2007 and 2009 with a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Food Science. Her thesis work and assistantship during her Master's degree involved descriptive taste research on taste recognition thresholds and flavor attributes of cheese, respectively. Jennifer has worked at several companies in the area since receiving her Master's degree, including Lofthouse Cookies (owned by Ralcorp at the time), Mrs. Fields' Famous Brands (also owners of TCBY frozen yogurt), and Schiff Nutrition which was acquired by Reckitt Benckiser (RB) while she was employed there as Sensory Specialist. Jennifer's job duties as a student and professional have included: sensory studies using various designs with panel, employee, and consumer groups; product development, including shelf life and stability studies for various platforms; and manufactured product audits for maintenance of product quality. She is excited to be part of the team here at BYU.