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Hilary Barry joins Fonterra's Research and Development taste team for a day

Every day, a small number of people gather in a secret room in a research lab in Palmerston North to taste food.

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Every day, a small number of people gather in a secret room in a research lab in Palmerston North to taste food. Source: 1 NEWS

They’re "super tasters" who advise the experts in food production on what tastes good.

Seven Sharp host Hilary Barry joined the team at the Fonterra Research and Development Centre to learn about the art of testing food.

The lab staff prepare more than 9000 samples a year for all of its sensory panels.

Senior Sensory Technicians Nicki Fisk and Michelle Forrest say super tasters are an important part of Fonterra's research. 

"We need the super tasters because we need the best taste buds that can discern between different flavours and different levels of sweetness and intensity.

"If we don’t have those people we don’t really know what’s going on in our products," they explained.

For the full story watch the video above to see how Hilary got on.