Each year CSIRO Food and Nutrition perform a number of research projects involving human participants. The present study will be testing a newly developed in home sensory kit to investigate the influence of genetics on taste and food preferences. The results from the study will help improve the in home sensory kit prior to use on a large group of participants.

What is the aim of this study?

The objective of this study is to validate the in home sensory kit to ensure:

  1. the kit is easy to complete through unsupervised collection and,
  2. the collection of reliable data.

The results of this study will identify improvements for the in home sensory testing kit prior to use on a larger group of participants. The expected benefit of this work is to produce a new tool to allow rapid examination of interactions between genetics and food preference.

How will the study be carried out?

If you choose to participate, you will be required to complete the developed in home sensory kit two (2) times. This will include completing the following tasks:

  • Participate in taste and smell tests,
  • Provide a saliva sample,
  • Fill out questionnaires relating to food preferences, eating attitudes and ancestry,
  • Provide information about yourself (age, weight and height).

All the tasks will be completed using online questionnaires (except for the saliva collection). You will be required to refrain from eating or drinking (water permitted) 1 hour prior to completing the in home sensory kit.

Study eligibility

We are looking for:

  • healthy adults (above the age of 18 years)
  • individuals who are not pregnant
  • non-smokers
  • individuals who have not had head trauma or surgery (including craniotomy and biopsy) and oral cancers.
  • Individuals who are not on medications that may impair taste sensitivity.
  • Individuals who do not have chronic diseases or infections i.e. autoimmune disease or chronic ear infections.

What are the benefits of participating in the study?

You may not benefit directly from participation in this study, but you will be providing a valuable contribution to the scientific knowledge in this field. Results for the validation study of the in home sensory kit will be provided to both groups at the completion of the study.

How will my privacy be protected?

CSIRO is governed under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).  CSIRO is collecting your personal information for the purposes of conducting the study and related scientific research.  CSIRO will only use and disclose your personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 and the NH&MRC National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007, Updated 2015) as amended from time to time, and as otherwise required by law.

This study has been approved by the CSIRO Human Research Ethics Committee. If you would like to speak with someone with respect to ethical matters the Secretary of the Committee can be contacted via email at


Using the sensory kit and completing the surveys