Author Archives: E3S Communication

Post of the Month: September 2020

Is the flour of Tylosema esculentum the novel textural ingredient in gluten-free bread making?

Dr. Patricia Nyembwe Mujinga, post doctorate researcher at the University of Pretoria (UP)

Over the last few decades, the popular belief is that a gluten free (GF) diet is a healthier option. Gluten-related disorders are driving an increasing number of consumers to opt for a GF diet as a lifestyle choice. Consequently, a lot of research have been conducted on GF bread to improve their technological properties. Nevertheless, many studies state that consumers remain unsatisfied with the quality of GF breads which are described as firm, dry crumbling crumb and with a poor mouthfeel, as the flours used lack the structure-building characteristics provided by gluten.

Tylosema esculentum, an underutilised African drought tolerant legume. It represents an attractive alternative as gluten-free ingredient as its flour is highly functional, rich in lipids, proteins and dietary fibre. In this study, GF breads were prepared from defatted marama flour- cassava starch (DFM-CS) composite in different ratio. The crumb texture of freshly produced breads was assessed by a sensory panel using the flash profiling method, as well as by conducting a texture profile analysis according to the approved method (AACC International, 2009) using the texture analyser EZ – L Shimadzu. The measured parameters were expressed as crumb firmness (N) and springiness (%).

The result showed that more defatted marama flour in the composite formulation lead to development of a soft and springy bread crumb. This may be due to the combined effect of marama flour functional properties such as water absorption and emulsion capacity as well as the presence of dietary fibre.  Interaction between legume protein and dietary fibre including pectin known as hydrocolloid are reported to improve the viscoelastic behaviour of gluten free dough leading to an enhancement of dough development, structure and gas retention. Thus leading to the development of gluten free bread with a soft crumb and improved elasticity.

Inclusion of marama flour should be consider in the development of gluten free with improved texture.

Written by:

Dr. Patricia Nyembwe Mujinga, post doctorate researcher at the University of Pretoria (UP)

Dr Patricia Nyembwe Mujinga is a dedicated and passionate post doctorate researcher at the University of Pretoria (UP), Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, Department of Consumer and Food Sciences and Institute of Food Nutrition and Well-being. She succeeded in relating the academic work to several industrial projects. She can fluently speak English and French. Her latest research focused on the optimisation of the sensory properties of gluten free bread that contribute to the nutrition and well-being of coeliac patients and consumer with gluten intolerance.

Her work includes:

  • Design and development of gluten free doughs that resemble wheat bread doughs while using legume protein flours as alternative to wheat gluten.
  • Optimisation of the bread baking performance and exploration of the sensory profile of breads using descriptive analyses method such as Flash Profiling.
  • Design and development other baking products such as biscuits that are appealing, appetising and nutritionally adequate to address the problem of protein energy malnutrition in risk community of Sub-Saharan Africa. 

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Science and Technology Sensory Investigator at Givaudan

Kemptthal – Switzerland

Application deadline: 14th September 2020

The Sensory Investigator provides industry-leading and applicable sensory & consumer expertise to lead projects and strategies which contribute to the development and commercialization of foundational research projects. You will identify development areas and implement research projects to develop improved and new products and solutions, according to company’s goals and corporate strategy.
You will be a part of a global team of Sensory Scientists, and support a culture of sensory innovation aligned with the needs while also supporting a research portfolio. You will directly report to the Sensory and Applications Director.

Sound interesting? It could well be your perfect opportunity if you, like us, are experienced at building relationships and always aiming to anticipate and exceed customer needs.

The position:

  • Project Management
    • Use knowledge (within projects) to creatively solve difficult problems in own or related specialties. Provide industry–leading Sensory expertise to support S&T and Givaudan’s business. Build complex research programs and provide technical leadership within sensory science and other related areas. Moreover you will determine project success criteria in collaboration with team members.
  • Global Interaction
    • Contribute to promotion of Sensory capabilities and results to internal stakeholders. Moreover you will organize global communication to ensure transfer of best practice between teams and ensure information sharing within the department and with all relevant groups within and outside of S&T.
  • Sensory Innovation
    • Develop new methodologies within function. Propose projects aiming at scouting, development and implementation of strategic technologies in sensory & consumer science and other related areas of expertise. Propose a strategic presence at all conferences and scientific fairs relevant for sensory science and other related areas of expertise.
  • Strategy Management
    • Help develop functional strategies from a scientific standpoint. Create projects or programs according to our needs and overall strategy. Provide input to expense and capital budgets. Lead competitor understanding within department. Lead identification of potential opportunities for collaborative innovation within the business and foundational project portfolio.
  • Mentoring
    • Mentor other scientific professionals. Participate in hiring process of new scientific professionals (help determine position profile). Identify current and future resource and capability needs within sensory science and other related areas of expertise. Identify training and development needs for essential technical competencies within sensory science and other related areas within the department.

The candidate have:

  • University degree + 10 years job training or MS + 7 years training or PhD and 4 years job training
  • In-depth understanding of the food or flavour business preferred, or comparable experience with specialized technology
  • Proficiency in applying creative Sensory & Consumer approaches
  • Proficiency in leadership of cross-functional teams and project management
  • Experienced in the design and management of complex research studies
  • Experienced in mentoring scientific personnel and leading support staff in conducting complex experiments
  • Demonstrate creativity to solve technical problems (specialist) or solve a broad range of complex problems (generalist)
  • Experienced in communicating, working and inspiring teams and managing conflicts
  • Business Fluent in English; additional language skills are of asset
  • Knowledge of advanced statistical approaches, experimental design and software applied to Sensory & Consumer science

The benefits:

  • Variable pension fund contribution
  • Sport and leisure club
  • Company shop
  • Staff restaurant
  • Public transportation support

Further information


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New book: Tools and Applications of Sensory and Consumer Science

71 Technical Report Scenarios Based on Real-life Problems

Edited by Dr. Daniel M. Ennis and Dr. Benoît Rousseau

This book is a must-have tool for professionals in product testing, consumer research, and advertising claims support.

It contains 71 of the most significant and useful technical reports from the last 22 years.

Readers will easily relate to the problems and solutions in each 2-page scenario. And for deeper study, the reader will find a list of published papers on a variety of related subjects.

1. The book addresses topics in the following seven areas:
2. Difference and Preference Tests
3. Ratings and Rankings
4. Advertising Claims Support
5. Drivers of Liking® and Landscape Segmentation Analysis®
6. Optimizing Product Portfolios
7. Advanced Analytic Tools
8. Design Issues in Product Tests and Surveys

Also included are 27 tables for product testing methods so the reader can interpret results from discrimination methodologies such as the tetrad test, triangle test, same-different method, duo-trio test, replicated testing, and others.

10% discount to E3S members! Before ordering online, please request your discount by sending an email to The Institute for Perception at

Further information


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Giract Best PhD Thesis Award 2020/2021

Applications deadline: 30th October 2020

Promoting Flavor Research amongst PhD Students in Europe

Giract is proud to announce that, following the success of its unique and innovative programme to promote flavor research amongst PhD students in Europe across various universities and institutes, 7 industry sponsors will continue to support the programme, now in its eleventh year. This consortium aims to raise awareness of the industry and career opportunities in order to increase the flavor research talent pool in Europe. The 7 sponsoring companies are:


This eleventh edition is organised by Giract, in coordination with Andrea Cattaruzza, Director of AndCat Ltd and Prof. Andy Taylor of the University of Nottingham, UK.


To promote innovative flavor research amongst PhD students across European universities and research institutes. PhD students enrolled in universities and research institutes in 32 European countries (European Union, UK, Switzerland, Norway, Turkey and Russia) are eligible to apply.

The project targets two different groups of PhD students:

  • Group 1:  students who are about to complete their PhD and hence will soon be examining opportunities for employment
  • Group 2:  students who are about to commence their PhD studies

This is translated into the following sub-objectives:

Further information


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Call for papers: [Foods] Special Issue “Determinants of Preference and Consumption of Healthy Food in Children”

*Submission deadline*: 31 January 2021

Impact Factor: 4.092 (2019)

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Monica LaureatiWebsite
Guest Editor
Department of Food, Environmental and Nutritional Sciences (DEFENS), University of Milan, Via Celoria 2, 20133 Milan, Italy
Interests: sensory and consumer science; food science; children eating behavior; sustainable food systems; food quality

Special Issue Information

Food preference is an important driver of food consumption, especially in children for whom the hedonic component is one of the key factors in determining healthy food choice. Establishing healthy dietary behaviors from an early age is crucial, as food preferences acquired during childhood persist into adulthood. A better understanding of children’s food preferences and their determinants may contribute in designing strategies to reduce obesity and malnutrition as well as developing healthy and sustainable food that they like and which meets their expectations. 

In this Special Issue of Foods, we encourage the submission of manuscripts (both original research and review articles) related to the factors that affect children’s food perception, preference and choice, including (but not limited to) genetics, orosensory responsiveness, personality traits, environment, as well as new fields of study such as oral microbiome. Manuscripts focusing on innovations in sensory and consumer science methodologies and approaches tailored to children are very welcome, as well as studies addressing cross-cultural differences in food perception and preference. Manuscripts on eating disorders, clinical samples of the pediatric population, or those not including some form of human measurement or not bringing a novel scientific contribution are not in the scope of this Special Issue. We are confident that the high-quality manuscripts collected in this Special Issue will contribute to deepening and expanding knowledge about food perception mechanisms and the dynamics of preference in children.

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Foods is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI’s English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Further information


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IFST Sensory Science Group Webinar: Who needs AI when we have HI ?

24 September 2020 (11:00 – 12:00)


This webinar will start with a quick introduction to Artificial Intelligence (AI), including Machine Learning (ML), and will then share several examples of AI and ML in food and non-food applications within sensory and consumer science, some of which you may be very familiar with.

What you will learn about:

Attendees will be given advice on how to learn more about the applications of these techniques and how to implement them in their workplace. The role of Human Intelligence (HI) in the context of AI will be explored. Future applications of AI in sensory science will also be discussed so please bring along your ideas to share.


Lauren Rogers, Sensory Science Consultant

Lauren is an active member of the IFST’s Sensory Science Group, and currently leads their Accreditation and Education working group, helping to coordinate their range of sensory science qualifications.

Lauren Rogers is a freelance sensory scientist living in the beautiful Staffordshire Peak District in the United Kingdom. As well as working for several different clients on many different types of projects, Lauren also lectures on sensory science at the University of Nottingham and Le Cordon Bleu. She loves to run training courses in sensory science and related topics. Lauren is particularly interested in the sensory, consumer and emotional attributes of brands; sensory shelf-life; panel performance; and sensory claim substantiation. She has experience in many food products including snacks, drinks and pet-food, as well as home and personal care products such as shampoos, toothpastes and creams.

Free to attend

Booking Link:


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The Institute for Perception 2020 November Program

Live Streaming

3 NOVEMBER – SYMPOSIA: Current Topics in Sensory and Consumer Science

4 – 6 NOVEMBER – MASTER CLASS: New Developments in Analytic Methods – Machine Learning, Drivers of Liking®, and Portfolio Optimization

Program Description:

In November, The Institute for Perception will present three symposiums on topics of current interest in sensory and consumer science. In addition to our own staff, invited speakers will present during the Symposia on temporal effects, invention and innovation, and consumer takeaway surveys.

The one-day Symposia will be followed by a two-and-a-half-day Machine Learning, Drivers of Liking®, and Portfolio Optimization.

This program has been developed for sensory and consumer scientists, product developers, market research managers, package/product testing specialists, and attorneys specializing in advertising law.

The instructors will be:

  • Dr. Daniel M. Ennis – The Institute for Perception
  • Dr. Benoît Rousseau – The Institute for Perception
  • William (Will) Russ – The Institute for Perception
  • Christopher A. Cole – Crowell & Moring
  • David G. Mallen – Loeb & Loeb
  • Anthony (Manny) Manuele – Molson Coors (retired)
  • Stephen McIngvale – Molson Coors
  • Dr. Dulce Paredes – Takasago International Corp., USA
  • Dr. Charlene Thrower – L’Oreal US
  • Annie M. Ugurlayan – National Advertising Division (NAD)®

Date: 3rd – 6th NOVEMBER 2020

Venue: Live stream via Zoom from The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia USA

Web Link to Course:

Program Fee: SYMPOSIA and Master Class (NOV 3-6) – $1,890 US, Only SYMPOSIA – $495 US, Only Master Class – $1,495 US

Save $100 when you register to attend the entire program. Program will be presented at The Greenbrier and also live streamed via Zoom. Academic and multiple registration discounts are available. A discount of $50 US will be offered to E3S members upon request. Please contact Susan Longest at or call +001-804-675-2980 before registering if you are eligible for a discounted fee. Register online at:


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Call for papers: [Foods] Special Issue “Texture Sensitivity and Consumer Food Preference and Behaviour”

*Submission deadline*: 31 May 2021

Impact Factor: 4.092 (2019)

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Rossella di MonacoWebsite
Guest Editor
Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Italy
Interests: sensory evaluation of food; new sensory methods; human sensory sensitivity; factors affecting consumer food behavior; liking and consumer choice

Dr. Sharon PuleoWebsite
Guest Editor
CAISIAL – Centre of Food Innovation and Development in the Food Industry – University of Naples Federico II, Italy
Interests: sensory sensitivity; food preference and choice; mechanical and rheological properties of food; psychological traits

Special Issue Information

Many intrinsic and extrinsic factors lead people to choose or prefer a type of food instead of another. Among them, sensory sensitivity plays a pivotal role. However, substantial individual variations in chemosensory perceptions exist. It is widely demonstrated that individual sensitivity to taste and odour sensations significantly changes food preference, choice, and consumption, whereas texture and trigeminal sensitivities, and how they could affect food rejection or preferences and choice, are poorly investigated. 

This Special Issue of Foods aims to collect both original research papers and reviews to expand knowledge in the field of individual sensitivity to texture and trigeminal sensations, bringing together insights from interdisciplinary fields. Researchers in physiology, psychology, sensory evaluation, behavioral, and consumer science are kindly invited to submit their works. Articles dealing with methodological issues are highly desirable and very welcome, as well as articles focused on the several relationships existing among the individual variables determining food preferences, food choices or people’s eating habits.

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Foods is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI’s English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Further information


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Chair of Sensory Science and Eating Behaviour at Wageningen University

Deadline for application: 1st October 2020

Wageningen University & Research (WUR) is recruiting a full professor to chair the group of Sensory Science and Eating Behaviour (SSEB), part of the division of Human Nutrition and Health. This position provides you the opportunity to further develop your own research line and your leadership profile. Together with other senior staff members, you are responsible for the academic and operational management of this chair group. You will define the research strategy, lead the team of scientists, lecturers and support staff, and further strengthen the national and international position of the group. You are also responsible for teaching and innovations in BSc, MSc and PhD courses, with the objective to contribute to the strong reputation and position of WUR in higher education.

Chair of Sensory Science and Eating Behaviour

The chair group Sensory Science and Eating Behaviour is positioned amidst the domains Human Nutrition, Food Technology and Consumer Behaviour. Sensory science functions as a bridge between consumer, food, eating behaviour, health and well-being. The main research challenge of the chair group SSEB is to better understand eating behaviour from a sensory, physiological and psychological perspective.

The mission of the chair group is to “make the healthy and sustainable choice the preferred choice”.

The SSEB group is part of the Division of Human Nutrition and Health (HNH) that is embedded in the Agrotechnology and Food Sciences Group. The HNH division houses a total of 180 part-time and fulltime employees including 90 PhDs and 20 postdocs. Expertise within the Division comprises nutrition at the cellular, the individual and the population level. The Chair of SSEB has an active role in the management of the Division of HNH together with the other four chair holders.

Research topics in the SSEB group at present focus on sensory perception, food properties, physiology and biopsychology of eating behaviour. The chair Professor is responsible for the group’s BSc and MSc courses and their continuing development. This requires active participation in and coordination of courses, development of learning goals, initiation and development of new courses, and embracing new didactic methods such as distance learning.

The SSEB group currently consists of 28 persons, including 4 tenured and scientific staff members, 3 lecturers, 3 technicians, 16 PhD students, 1 endowed professor and 1 post doc.

The newly appointed Professor is expected to give new impulses to the research activities of the chair group and to extend the current research portfolio, as well as present the research field in society. The newly appointed Professor has the opportunity to fill an additional vacancy for an Assistant Professor (1.0 fte) to develop a new line of research to extend and strengthen the current research lines.

More information about current research and teaching of the group can be found at

The candidate will:

As full professor and Chair you are an inspiring and visionary leader, mentor and teacher. You are an ambitious and creative scientist with broad expertise in sensory science and eating behaviour, and you are recognised as a scientific leader in your specific field. You are committed to research and education and you seek to reach the highest level in these fields. You are an academic leader capable of heading a team in a synergistic, efficient, effective and motivating manner You are the figurehead of your group.

As a successful candidate, you

  • are an excellent and innovative researcher with outstanding publications related to the field of sensory science and eating behaviour. You have a strong background in human nutrition, food sciences, sensory science, eating behaviour or related disciplines.
  • have outstanding and demonstrable scientific expertise and a clear and inspiring vision on research and associated research methodologies.
  • have a strong reputation and prominence related to the field of sensory science and eating behaviour, and are active in a wide international network of academic and societal organizations as well as the private sector.
  • are successful in acquisition of research funding and strategic development of the chair group, and can demonstrate the potential to realize both in the future.
  • can integrate new developments and build bridges between different areas to create new opportunities for research and education.
  • are a supportive and inspiring coach who can and wants to develop the talents of the group’s members, experienced and starting.
  • have a clear vision on content of and didactic methods in education. You are an inspiring teacher who can innovate the existing BSc and MSc education programs so that they continue to reflect the state of the art in the field.
  • are an open and outgoing colleague that can build and unify a team around the group’s mission.
  • are a team player willing to participate in active management of the division of Human Nutrition and Health.
  • are a good communicator who feels the importance of dialogue in society, and who has the ability to represent and communicate scientific results and opinions at all required levels (internal, national, international, and in the media).
  • have excellent management and communication skills, and the capacity and ambition to be influential in the establishment of strategies on institutional, national and international levels.
  • an think well in scenarios, anticipating future developments and dealing with them flexibly

The offer:

You will be working for an inspiring international organization with a large number of interdisciplinary projects all over the world. The scientific quality of Wageningen University is affirmed by the prominent position we occupy in international rankings and citation indexes.

WUR offer you a challenging position as Full Professor of the Chair of Sensory Science and Eating Behaviour. In addition to a competitive salary, WUR offer a number of additional benefits, such as an end-of-year extra month’s salary, a holiday allowance and a pension plan with the Dutch pension fund for government and education.

A specialised staffing agency will help your partner to find a job.

Wageningen University and Research actively promotes gender equality and diversity.


You are encouraged to send your complete application to the executive secretary of the Appointment Committee, who should also be contacted if you have further questions about the procedure. Within a single PDF file, please include an application letter, a curriculum vitae, a (max 4-page A4) research and teaching statement, a list of publications and names of 4 references. The closing date for applications is 1st October 2020.

You are encouraged to send your complete application to the executive secretary of the Appointment Committee, who should also be contacted if you have further questions about the procedure. Within a single PDF file, please include an application letter, a curriculum vitae, a (max 4-page A4) research and teaching statement, a list of publications and names of 4 references. The closing date for applications is 1 October 2020 (the closing date has been extended).

Further information about the position can be obtained from Professor Remko Boom, Chair of the Appointment Committee ( or Professor Edith Feskens Member of the Appointment Committee (

The Appointment Committee will organize online interviews with selected candidates in November 2020. Applicants will receive the scheduled dates when they submit their application. The Committee will thereafter invite short-listed candidates for a second interview and a public lecture, which are likely to take place in December. The second interviews and public lectures will be in Wageningen.

Coming from abroad

Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen therefore has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees.

Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, by which 30% of their salary is exempt from tax. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family. A specialised staffing agency will help your partner to find a job.

Feeling welcome is also closely linked with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research’s International Community page contains practical information about what we do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen.

We are

Delivering a substantial contribution to the quality of life – this is our focus, each and every day. Within our domain of good and safe food & food production, food security and a healthy living environment, we search for answers to issues affecting society, such as sustainable food production, climate change and alternative energy. Of course, we don’t do this alone. Every day, 5000 people work on the quality of life, turning ideas into reality, on a global scale.

Could you be one of these people? We give you the space you need.

For further information about working at Wageningen University & Research, take a look at


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Teagasc MSc Walsh Scholarship opportunity

Deadline for application: 27th July 2020


Teagasc Walsh Scholarship Number: 2018212


External factors such as Brexit and climate change have direct impacts for the Irish diary industry. Hence, dairy processors need to continue to develop innovative high-value products to remain competitive and meet contemporary consumer needs. Although 3D printing has been recommended as a technology of the future, its potential has not yet been fully explored in the food sector. The benefits of 3D printed foods include the flexibility to develop and manufacture food products of any shape or size, combined with more efficient and optimal use of clean and traceable ingredients.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, through their FIRM funding instrument, is currently funding a 3D printing project, entitled ‘3D Dairy’. The objective of this project is to explore the potential of extending the market for dairy ingredients by developing new processing applications and new dairy snack-type products using 3D printing technology. Using an augmented 3D printer and nutrient dense dairy ink, a 3D dairy structured snack with novel flavours, colours and nutritional enhancement will be printed. It is well documented that having an understanding of consumer attitudes and needs during the NPD process can enhance the likelihood of product success.

Therefore, this Walsh Scholarship project will focus on undertaking a consumer survey in Ireland and UK to identify consumer needs as well as profile attitudes, facilitators and barriers regarding acceptance of 3D printed dairy foods. In addition, the student will also design and conduct sensory trials of novel 3D printed dairy-based snack foods, and bench mark these products against conventionally produced dairy products.


Applicants should have a first or upper second-class honours primary degree or equivalent in an appropriate discipline (food science, nutrition, food business or similar).

The successful candidate should be highly self-motivated with an interest in new product development and an understanding of the dairy industry in Ireland.

Proficiency in English is essential.


This Teagasc Walsh Scholarship forms part of a joint research project between Teagasc Food Research, Ashtown and Cork Institute of Technology. The student will be based at Teagasc, Ashtown and will be registered at Cork Institute of Technology. The Scholarship will start as soon as possible after 1st of September 2020 when the most suitable candidate is appointed. The Scholarship comprises a stipend of €24,000 per annum from which fees are paid. The duration of the award to pursue an MSc by research is two years.

Further Information/Applications

Dr Sinéad McCarthy, Department of Agrifood Business and Spatial Analysis, Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin 15.

Dr Eimear Gallagher, Head of Food Quality and Sensory Science, Teagasc Food Research Centre, Ashtown, Dublin 15.

Informal enquiries can be made via email to either Sinéad McCarthy or Eimear Gallagher.

Interested candidates are requested to email an electronic copy of Curriculum Vitae and a letter of interest simultaneously to and no later than 12 pm Monday 27th of July 2020.

Interviews will be held with potential candidates shortly thereafter.


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Post of the Month: July 2020

The Reflections of a Lecturer, PhD Researcher and Masters student during COVID-19

Dr. Paula Conroy, Lecturer at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), Ireland

Christina Dietz, Sensory and Brewing Science PhD student at the University of Nottingham, UK

Eunan Doherty, Student Applied Sports Nutrition, GMIT, Ireland

The year 2020 has unfolded in a way no one could ever have predicted. In a time where social distancing has become the new norm and individuals are more cautious than ever before, the academic life for students and lectures is very different to that of six months ago. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, face to face interactions with lecturers, academic staff and students was the manner in which the majority of students learned.

Any questions could be queried directly with any member of staff during or after classes. This learning process was through a magnitude of channels, including tutorials, labs and lectures. As our programme emphasizes student interactions, we needed to carefully (but quickly) examine how to keep the heart of our teaching/learning approaches online. Staff worked intensively with the administrative staff at GMIT to make this happen. Lectures needed to be tactical and find the most successful approach for their students in a very short period.

Teaching was all directed to online mediums. Within a short space of time delivering classes through Teams and Zoom became the new norm. However, we had several fresh challenges to bring our lectures online, as we needed to accommodate a much larger number of participants and had various student interactions such as case discussions, role play, and group discussions. Student engagement and participation is always key to ensuring a successful learning experience, however this can be compromised through teaching online. By keeping the classes interactive by engaging with different learning resources, discussion forums and communicating well with the class this was achieved.

Establishing online etiquette was intrinsic to the smooth running of classes. When students had a question, they would raise their hand using the ‘hands up function’ on Teams, all microphones would be muted, and cameras would be turned on during role call. Labs had to be directed online. One such lab I designed and conducted was with the MSc. Applied Sports Nutrition was the design and development of a sensory enhanced health bar for athletes. The student’s objective was to develop a sensory enhanced ‘health bar’ which would be suitable for the students chosen athletic target audience.

Different learning outcomes from this exercise was to gain a greater insight into the following:

  • Product development e.g. new products
  • Changes in recipe & production process
  • Quality control e.g. raw ingredients & products
  • Benchmarking e.g. comparing to the competition
  • Problem solving e.g. off-flavours & taints
  • Shelf life testing e.g. best before date

The students developed and reformulated traditional recipes to increase protein, decrease fat, increase fibre etc to cater for their target consumers.  The nutrition content of the bars was researched and nutrition labels were designed by the students. They also came up with a mood board on Padlet software whereby they designed the packaging of their finished product. The students performed hedonic sensory analysis. They examined attributes such as appearance, aroma, flavour and oral texture. All of which was conducted at the student’s home with their housemates or family being their sensory panel assessors. The students then came up with their own sales pitch which was delivered on Teams. The students established health claims associated with the health bar, costings of manufacture and sales prices. The students really embraced their new lab style. They developed health bars ranging from cyclists to school children’s vending machines and really took on the role of a Sensory Scientist in their own home. A few months ago, conducting such a lab would seem merely impossible outside the traditional laboratory, however I feel creativity in strenuous situations can always accomplish an outcome.

COVID-19 has presented many challenges for students and staff alike. However, a lot of these challenges were to our advantage. One such advantage is our upskilling in technology enhanced learning. Learning in the last few months has become interactive and accessible to every student across the country and globally. Although it does not replace face to face interactions and the experience of College life for students, it does contribute some advances in the way we teach and learn

Written by:

Dr. Paula Conroy, Lecturer at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) Ireland


There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our everyday lives and will further change the future. In response to the social distancing rules at work, school and university closures and travel bans, it changed the way we communicate, work, lead, study, and let us question whether we actually need to meet in-person to solve this business problem. What became quite obvious during the past months is that in many cases it is actually possible to manage work from home and that Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Skype, Zoom Video Conferencing and other providers are very useful communication tools helping us to save a lot of time.

It was quite exciting that my inbox literally got flooded with offers for free or reduced-fee online courses, webinars, and virtual networking events at the start of the lockdown. So far, I could choose between more than 30 different webinars – all relevant for my current research projects or my professional development. Do you want to learn more about a sensory or a statistical analysis software? You could be sure that Compusense, XLSTAT, IBM SPSS and various other re-known providers had a suitable offer in their newsletters. National institutes, companies and societies offer webinars to diverse topics or relocating whole conferences into the digital world. Many of these online events adapt topics relevant to the current situation. For instance, the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) host a Sensory Science Group Webinar on the 30th July on how to conduct sensory and consumer research during lockdown ( 

Thinking about my voluntary work and political engagement, all of a sudden I had access to meetings and debates for which I previously had to commute to another city, or even to another country. It seems that the current digital development is bringing us a little closer while we are asked to ‘socially distance’ from each other. Nevertheless, all of us crave for real-life coffee breaks with our colleagues and the after-work pint in the pub next door. Moreover, it was found that an overload of online meetings can cause tiredness and exhaustion, a phenomenon that got the name “video call fatigue”. It is certainly important to find a balance between in-person events and interacting virtually.

Written by:

Christina Dietz, Sensory and Brewing Science PhD student at the University of Nottingham, UK


My name is Eunan Doherty from Donegal, Ireland and I’m currently studying a Masters in Applied Sports & Exercise Nutrition.  I spent four years in IT Sligo, Ireland where I completed my Undergraduate Degree in Human Nutrition. 

I have always been interested in Nutrition from the basic principles of dieting to the laboratory specific testing carried out in food production.  I enjoy the prospect of working with athletes in the future yet I would also be interested in working in a laboratory setting if the opportunity were to arise. 

It’s been around four months since I found myself in a hotel room preparing for the first lab sessions of the semester.  This would be one of two sessions throughout the semester and is always a great time to meet with lecturers and classmates face-to-face.  The following day had began like any other session, a quick coffee and a catch up before getting down to business.  It was shortly after midday when the news was brought to us that we would not be able to complete our labs that day or the following day and the session was concluded.  This was the first direct impact that COVID-19 had on any of us.  It was unfamiliar territory for everyone and the worry of what was to come was starting to grow.  Questions were being asked that nobody could give a definitive answer to yet;  What does this mean for our lab assessments? How will this impact our marks and grades? What are we going to have to do to make up for it? etc.  It was hard to forecast the full impact the pandemic was going to have and the only benefit was that our lectures were able to continue as normal. 

Back at home places began to slowly close down from bars, shops, gyms, sports clubs and shortly the “lockdown” was in full effect.  Safe at home and not stuck at home was the message relayed to me every day from family members and my college work was the only sense of “normal” life I still had and for once felt grateful for having plenty to do.  My lecturers had settled the nerves and cleared the grey areas surrounding the coursework which took away concerns that admittedly were beginning to grow in the back of my head.  With the coursework all mapped out and a finishing line for the semester in sight, everything had appeared to be straightforward. 

The biggest barrier I had to tackle was motivation.  It wasn’t usually something I contended with as I had been completing lectures and coursework online for 6 months at this stage.  I think with everything being shut down and the 2km travel limit in play,  the motivation to really do anything wasn’t really there.  No gyms or leisure centers to occupy any spare time and training for football teams was also off-limits.  These were all great schedule fillers in between doing lectures and completing coursework, but my motivation had left me just as they had left my daily routine.  From playing scrabble with my parents to doing online 5km challenges nothing was the same.  I have to credit my classmates more than most as the constant communication we share over our WhatsApp group had finally got me going to get my work done.  Whether it was sitting on together on Microsoft teams going over coursework or just casual conversations on how to approach some assignments.  My motivation had slowly began to return. 

I must also credit my lecturers as extensions were given when needed and any issues were dealt with.  One of the highlights of the semester has to be an online sensory lab where we had to develop our own health bars and carry out sensory testing on our products with the little resources we had.  It was a great experience carrying out sensory testing like the Hedonic Scale test and seeing how its applied practically.  With my research project commencing in early September, I look forward to exploring the sensory science and its place among a sporting population.  I have experienced sensory analysis in my undergraduate studies and look forward to experimenting with it again.  It should be interesting to explore the sensory perceptions and taste preferences of athletes and it’s a challenge I look forward to.   It has been a strange semester in strange times and one I won’t forget in a hurry.  I hope some normality can return and I can achieve the targets put in front of me.

Written by:

Eunan Doherty, Student Applied Sports Nutrition, GMIT, Ireland.


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Early Stage Researcher at Wageningen

Deadline for application: July 13th 2020



Edulia program: Are you an ambitious junior researcher and do you want to be part of an international research consortium working on barriers for children’s healthy eating and how to tackle them?

The ITN Marie Curie project Edulia ( responds to the urgent need of the EU society to find new ways to tackle the escalating issue of obesity, through promoting healthier eating from childhood, within the context of choice. Based on the relations between sensory perception, pleasure, food choice and food behaviour, Edulia looks for new approaches to drive children to like and actively choose healthy foods, developing healthier dietary habits.

The overall aim of the research program is to better understand how multiple factors act as barriers for children’s healthy eating and how to tackle them, bringing together leading scientists in the Food Choice arena in a collaborative network that will transcend the limits of this project and strengthen European research.

The position:

Wageningen University and Research in The Netherlands has a 2-year ESR position (junior researcher, no PhD position) available within the ITN Marie Curie Project. The rise in childhood obesity is a worrying trend, also in relation to its concomitant increase in rates of associated non-communicable diseases. There is a need for understanding the role sensory signals in overeating. Numerous studies in adults have shown that taste has a major role in development of food preferences and intake patterns. 
Whereas the role of taste in preferences and consumption patterns has been extensively studied in adults; this has been studied far less in children (pre-schoolers and primary school children). This is interesting, as in adults, taste effects may be learned or partly due to cognitive factors, whereas this is unlikely in the case of young children. Studying this phenomenon in young children therefore focuses on the sensory processes involved in preferences and intake patterns.

The key objective of this 2 year research project involves the study of sweet taste exposure, and it’s role in the generation of food pleasure (liking) and sweet food intake patterns in children. The role of duration and intensity of repeated exposure to sweet taste on children’s preferences and liking for sweet tasting foods and drinks will be explored. In addition, we will explore the role of parents concerning restriction rules for the consumption of sweet foods/drinks by their children and children’s liking, preferences and consumption pattern for sugary foods.

The candidate:

A motivated candidate who can work independently as well as a part of an international team. The work place will be at Wageningen University and Research (The Netherlands), but the candidate will spend a 2-month secondment in Dijon, France.

  • A university degree (MSc) in a eating behaviour field (e.g. nutrition, sensory science, psychology);
  • affinity and demonstrable experience with experimental studies on eating behaviour;
  • good communication, social and organizational skills and an interest to work with children;
  • a major part of the success of the project depends on the willingness of parents of young children to provide information and/or let their children participate in these studies. Good communication skills are essential, and the ability to speak Dutch is a plus in this context;
  • openness and willingness to collaborate with partners from other European countries and scientific disciplines;
  • being able to work and make thoughtful decisions independently;
  • availability and willingness to travel and work in different places in the world;
  • clear scientific ambition in the conduct and publication of research work;
  • good control of English (both verbally and written) is essential. The ability to speak and write in Dutch is a plus;
  • a group-social, critical and positive learning attitude towards achieving excellence. 

The conditions:

A challenging position as junior researcher with, depending on your experience, a competitive salary from a minimum of € 2790,00 to a maximum of € 3061,00 for a full working week of 38 hours in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement Dutch Universities (scale 10). 

The position is within the Sensory Science and Eating Behaviour (SSEB) group, that is part of the Division of Human Nutrition and Health of Wageningen University.

Application process:

This can be done directly via the application button at the vacancy on our website so that we can process your personal data with your permission.
The following documents must be submitted to be considered for the position:

  • Application letter describing qualifications and motivation for the position;
  • curriculum vitae. If the candidate has any publication it should also be listed;
  • copies of degree certificates and transcripts of academic records (all certified);
  • two persons who may act as references (with phone numbers and e-mail addresses);
  • applicants with a qualification from a foreign university are advised to provide an explanation of the grading system used by that university.

Further information:

The supervision of this project will be done by Dr Gerry Jager, Dr Gertrude Zeinstra, and Prof Kees de Graaf. For more information about the post, please contact Gerry Jager, Associate professor Sensory Science and Eating Behaviour, e-mail:, phone +31 317485850. Please do not use this e-mail address to apply.
For more information about the procedure, please contact Marjolijn Steffens, HR advisor, e-mail:



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