The Blas awards are the biggest blind tasting of produce in the country, and the criteria on which the product is judged as well as the judging system itself, which was developed by Blas na hEireann with the Food Science Dept of UCC, is now recognised as an international industry standard. We also work with The Baking Academy in Dublin for the judging of our bread categories.
We work with UCC to manage, co-ordinate and implement the scientific element of the awards. The team in UCC is led by Dr Joe Kerry, in the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University College Cork. The group is involved in the logistics of food intake and logging, food handling, sampling and preparation, and in the sensory training of judges and evaluation of score results The group has very strong research ties with the University of Copenhagen in Denmark and this is demonstrated through the active participation of Professor Derek Byrne who is deputy head of sensory science at Copenhagen University and leader of the Food Unique Network, who contributed significantly to the development of the sensory science element for these awards.
The Food Packaging Group was requested to participate in the Blas Awards via industry contacts who formed part of the organising committee for the awards. The Food Packaging Group at UCC works closely with the Irish food industry on issues relating to; product development, shelf-life evaluation, quality assessment and sensory evaluation of foods and on all issues pertaining to food packaging. The group’s participation in these awards is an endorsement of the group’s reputation in these areas.
The School of Food and Nutritional Sciences at UCC provides high caliber graduates for the national and international food industry and competitive businesses, food research and teaching careers. As well as its long-established commitment to undergraduate teaching, the range of postgraduate degree courses available further illustrates the commitment of the School to student education to Masters and Ph.D level.
Read more about THE SENSE AWARD SCORING SYSTEM
The Baking Academy
The Baking Academy of Ireland is located in Palmerstown Village in Dublin 20. The academy was established by Master Baker Derek O’Brien. Derek was Head (retired) of the National Bakery School, Dublin Institute of Technology, Kevin Street. Recently he was appointed head of Diploma in German Baking programme by the International Baking Academy, Weinheim, Germany.
The academy tutors are specialists in the field of baking, confectionery, chocolate and sugar craft. Each has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of bread making including the art and craft of artisan baking. These baking experts have judged the Blas na hEireann bread baking competition since the awards began.