Meet Cow & Gate’s 24-year-old baby food tester who’s taste buds are like that of a ten-month-old baby. Beth Anderson is now in talks with her bosses to get her tongue insured for £1million.
Tucking into delicious meals such as hearty shepherd’s pie, succulent pork casserole and scrummy spaghetti bolognese are all just part of the day job for Beth Anderson. But, rather than tasting them as a 24-year-old, Beth, originally from Northern Ireland, has trained her palette to taste like a ten-month-old baby in order to be sure that even the youngest of foodies go gaga for their mini mealtimes.
"The job also comes with its benefits to my personal life too - I used to hate the taste of peas but, after numerous tests for a Cow & Gate pea purée I now add them to meals in my personal diet....
On behalf of tiny taste buds all across the UK, Beth’s role as a baby food taste tester for Cow & Gate means she samples around 500 mouthfuls of their meals a year. Trying everything from fruity apple purée to creamy parsnip and potato, Beth ensures they taste just right for little one’s palettes with her specially trained tongue.
So important for being an expert at her job are Beth’s special taste buds, that Cow & Gate is already in talks to insure them for £1million, following in the footsteps of celebrities such as J-Lo and Heidi Klum who have also had certain parts of their body insured.
Beth said: “I love my job tasting for Cow & Gate. It is sometimes easy to forget that as adults we can grow used to food which we’ve added salt, sugar or other flavours to.
"My sensory training to re-educate the way I taste foods is vitally important in guaranteeing our babies enjoy their food right from their first mouthfuls and hopefully that means there aren’t any tantrums at teatime.”
Whilst to an adult tongue some baby food may taste bland, babies have many more working taste buds making them more sensitive to stronger flavours, which is probably why most of us will never have enjoyed pickled onions or gherkins as an infant.
Beth’s training to re-educate herself to taste food like a ten-month-old baby means she can taste food like a baby would and detect subtle flavours that other adults probably wouldn’t be able spot.
Beth’s skills also allow her to identify each individual flavour that is part of every jar of Cow & Gate food. For example, when testing new creamy carrot and potato, she ensures her tongue can make out the taste of each specific vegetable, so that babies can learn to love these individual flavours.It is also key Beth notices any tastes that would be too overpowering for teeny tongues. Although tomatoes are very nutritious and have a lot of flavour, they can sometimes taste too acidic for babies and Beth’s job helps to recognise how much is too much for little mouths when it comes to ingredients like these.
Beth added: “The job also comes with its benefits to my personal life too - I used to hate the taste of peas but, after numerous tests for a Cow & Gate pea purée I now add them to meals in my personal diet and really enjoy eating them!”
In order to protect her taste buds prior to a tasting session Beth has to avoid any strong tastes or smells, such as coffee and perfume, and drinks plenty of water throughout the day to keep her palette cleansed.
As Cow & Gate baby food contains no added salt, many tasters like Beth find they have a reduced tolerance for salt and sugar in their normal diet after spending so much time testing it. Beth, who has tasted baby food for over two years, has even managed to teach her palette to enjoy the taste of foods she previously didn’t enjoy.
Cow & Gate carefully blends and cooks baby grade ingredients, working with hand-picked partners to ensure that only the best quality, nutritionally balanced baby food is produced.
To find out more about exactly what goes into Cow & Gate baby food visit www.cowandgate.co.uk/our_story.
Would you like Beth's job? Tell us why in the comments below or tweet us @FemaleFirst_UK
Shabana Adam @Shabs_A