How to Conduct a Milk Taste Test

This can be done with one or two volunteers. When using two, one does the taste test while the other prepares the milk samples.

Supplies:

  • small disposable cups (bathroom size, patterned – not clear)
  • 1 quart each fat-free, 1% (low-fat), 2% (reduced fat) and whole milk (more if doing taste tests for more 30 people) To disguise the milk, you can remove the cap and cover the milk label with a paper shield or put the container in a bag.
  • cooler with ice packs to keep the milk COLD
  • display table, trays or muffin tins to hold cups of milk
  • napkins, trash cans or suitable trash containers (e.g., empty box)
  • sunglasses (if available)

Step 1: Encourage Participant to participate in taste test

Step 2: Prepare milk sample:

  • Place empty cups in marked muffin tin (mark middle row of tin: A, B, C & D)
  • Pour milk in cups -- each cup should only get about an ounce of milk (very little is needed to get the taste/flavor)
  • Milk should be very cold and freshly poured for each taster
  • Be careful not to drip water from the outside of the milk cartons into the cups
  • Place milk samples in front of taster only after he/she has closed his/her eyes or put on sunglasses

If there is only one volunteer, the volunteer may need to pour the milk while encouraging people to take the test. The conversation would go something like this:

Milk is an important food for children and adults. I want you to try these samples and tell me how they taste to you. Let your taste buds be the judge. Many people say they can't tell the difference and using 1% or fat-free milk is good for your health.

Step 3: Offer the milk samples

Tell them you are going to offer them four types of milk. Offer one at a time and ask if the person likes it and which type she/he thinks it is. Don't tell them if they are right until they taste all four.

Once they've tasted all, tell them:

You tried four types of milk. You liked both 1% and fat-free (if they did) and had a hard time telling the difference (if they did). If you liked the taste of 1% or fat-free, why not consider switching and saving yourself fat and calories and still get all the nutrients. Your body will love you for it. Switching to 1% or fat-free milk is an important and easy way to protect your health and keep your body strong. Are you willing to switch?

Thanks for taking the milk taste test!

Modified from the Center for Science in the Public Interest's 1% or Less Tool Kit.

1% Or Less: Milk Taste Tests

Tasting Response Data Sheet

Subject #1 Usually Use2 Sample A3 Sample B Sample C Sample D Lowest Liked4 Comments Pledge5
offer guess like offer guess like offer guess like offer guess like
1   FF6     2     1     W         Y N
2   2     1     W     FF         Y N
3   W     1     2     FF         Y N
4   1     2     FF     W         Y N
5   W     FF     1     2         Y N
6   2     1     W     FF         Y N
7   FF     1     2     W         Y N
8   1     2     W     FF         Y N
9   2     W     FF     1         Y N
10   1     FF     2     W         Y N
11   FF     W     1     2         Y N
12   W     2     1     FF         Y N
13   2     W     FF     1         Y N
14   W     2     1     FF         Y N
15   1     W     FF     2         Y N
16   FF     2     1     W         Y N
17   FF     W     1     2         Y N
18   W     1     2     FF         Y N

1Remember to double check the subject number with other Volunteer for each participant.

2Record the type of milk the taster usually uses.

3Present to the taster the type of milk listed in the column "offer." Under "guess," mark which type the taster guessed was presented. Under "like," indicate whether the taster liked the sample offered -- Y (yes) or N (no).

4Of the samples taster liked, indicate type with the least fat (skim is lowest, then 1%, then 2%, whole is highest).

5Did the taster agree to try to switch to (or continue using) 1% or skim milk? Circle Y (yes) or N (no).

6FF = fat free (skim) milk.