Author Archives: E3S secretary

Post of the month October 2018


A review of the EuroSense 2018 Conference

Alessandra De Toffoli, PhD Student at the University of Florence, Italy
2st-5th September 2018 – Verona, Italy


Just some numbers: 727 participants (73% from Europe), 590 abstract submissions, 66 oral presentations, 4 workshops, 386 posters.

The theme of this edition was ‘A Sense of Taste’ that implied a great attention to individual differences in sensory perception, liking, preference, choice and behaviour. As taste is a multifaceted word with multiple meanings, topics covered the contribution of sensory science as a multidisciplinary perspective applied to specific issues of general interest (sensory for health, innovation, sustainability, eating out and individual differences), and input and contributions from other fields and disciplines to the methodological refinement of the sensory science (genetics, mind science, text analysis, new technologies, statistics and advanced instrumental analysis).

The conference was opened by Prof. Erminio Monteleone from University of Florence, followed by two keynote speakers, John Prescott – TasteMatters Research and Consulting and Caterina Dinnella – University of Florence. Both emphasised the important role of individual differences in taste perception, liking and food choices, underlighting that food choices depend on the interplay of food intrinsic and extrinsic characteristics with person-related dimensions that are biological, physiological, psychological, and socio-cultural.

Day two started with a keynote of Kees de Graaf from Wageningen University who spoke about the enormous societal pressure to reduce salt, sugar and fat levels in foods and underlined the essential contribution of sensory science to a healthier society. Agnès Giboreau from Institut Paul Bocuse Research Center presented meal habits from a global prospective showing discrepancy in eating out practices.

E3S Student and Early Stage Researcher Group annual meeting

In the afternoon, I participated with pleasure to the E3S Student & Early Stage Researcher (SESRG) annual meeting where I met students from different parts of Europe and I had the great opportunity to exchange opinions with other people working in sensory science.

During the coffee breaks I participated with other SESRG members at the E3S stand where we promoted the E3S group and its activities. We also administrated to delegates a food attitude questionnaire that was translated in 10 languages by E3S students. The aim was to adapt the questionnaire in several languages and to highlight the differences between cultures. The E3S Workshop “Lost in translation: issues in cross-cultural and multi-country studies” certainly gave us some precious suggestions!

Day three was a big day! It started with a keynote from Mari Sandell from Turku University who focus the attention on individual differences in sensory perception, underling that experiences are individual and unique, and we may taste, smell, hear, see and touch in different ways. After the presentation, I, together with other 6 colleagues, were awarded with the E3S and SISS Student Awards.

During the flash poster session, I presented my work on the influence of psychological traits on the acceptability of healthy foods that received the E3S Award. The purpose of the study was to investigate the role of psychological traits in liking, familiarity and choice for phenol-rich foods characterized at the same time by health benefits and warning sensations such as bitterness and astringency. Our results suggested that psychological traits associated with anxiety such as Food Neophobia, Sensitivity to Disgust and to Punishment may act as a barrier in the acceptability of phenol-rich foods. Particularly, differences may be associated with a hypersensitivity to the alarm sensations influenced by the psychological traits that could modulate sensory and hedonic responses making the alarm sensations been perceived as more intense and less acceptable.

The other keynote of the day, Jessica Aschemann-Witzel from Aarhus University, delivered a fascinating talk about how sensory consumer science can contribute to sustainable development of the food sector. She offered great deals to think about and she provocatively affirmed that it was more sustainable to fly from Verona to Aarhus than to walk. Why? Because the food you eat during the one-month walking has a worse environmental impact than the flight.

And last, but not least… we enjoyed the gala dinner in one of the most famous palaces of Verona with the belvedere that offered a fine view of the city.

Debra A. Zellner from Montclair State University and David Morizet from L’Oréal Research & Innovation opened the last day of the conference. Finally, Kees de Graaf and Betina Piqueras-Fiszman from Wageningen University presented the venue of EuroSense 2020. The conference will be held in Rotterdam!

The organisation of the conference was a great success and I came away from these days with a lot of new insights. I am grateful for the opportunity the organisers gave me to present my work and I look forward to attending the conference again in two years!

Written by: Alessandra De Toffoli
PhD student at Dept. GESAAF, University of Florence, Italy
Unifi SensoryLab Webpage
Facebook page: Sensory Lab Unifi


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Research Fellowship on perception of food in obese individuals

The Center for Mind/Brain Sciences, CIMeC at University of Trento, will soon be advertising a Research fellowship in multisensory behavioral studies on perception of food in obese individuals


The position is to work on a project that will try to shed light on possible unisensory and/or multisensory alterations on food perception that can influence the way overweight/obese people select their food and how much they eat. Moreover, the project purports to clarify the role of non-homeostatic mechanisms underlying food processing in normal weight and overweight/obese individuals and different conditions of hunger/satiety.

The Research fellow will work with Professor Massimiliano Zampini. The ideal candidate should have a background in Psychology, Neuroscience or Sensory  Sciences and experience with behavioral methods relevant for studying unisensory and/or multisensory perception and attention. Priority will be given to candidates holding a PhD.  Italian proficiency is required for interacting with the possible participants.

The position is going to be funded for one year with a potential renewal for a second year.  The contract should start by the end of the year.

Further information may be requested to the PI:


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E3S Student video competition

The European Sensory Science Society is pleased to announce the winner of the E3S Student video competition – Eurosense 2018 is Marit Nijman – University of Nottingham.

Watch her video here


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E3S Eurosense Student Awards 2018 – The reports of the winners

Read the reports of the winners from the conference – Eurosense 2018

Prof. Carolina Chaya and prof. Ella Pagliarini at the awarding ceremony


The winners of the E3S and SISS awards Eurosense 2018


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Two PhD Fellowships/scholarships at Aarhus University

Two PhD Fellowships/scholarships at Aarhus University – Food Science programme

Deadline for submission: 1 November 2018

Applications are invited for two PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Food Science programme. The position is available from 1 February 2019 or later. Deadline for submission of applications is 1 November 2018.

  • SOUNDS HEALTHY: Auditory interventions in public spaces to promote healthier food choices and eating behavior

The PhD project is part of a key research focus on the role of contextual cues on flavour perception and eating behaviour. The project is conducted in close synergy between AU FOOD and other universities and industries from both Denmark and abroad. The project is highly interdisciplinary, combining sensory science, consumer behaviour, experimental psychology, and experience design.

A growing body of scientific evidence now shows that people’s eating and purchase behaviour, what they taste, and how much they enjoy the experience, can be influenced by the background music/soundscape that happens to be playing at the same time. What remains unknown, and the primary aim of the PhD, is to study how these sensory nudges can be incorporated into public spaces (such as canteens, supermarkets, schools, retirement homes, hospitals, etc.) in order to promote healthy eating behaviour in the long term. The PhD project will also shed light on whether such nudges work for all food products per se, or whether specific nudges are influential on certain foods only. For example, whether auditory interventions affect choice and behaviour for snack products or actual meals in a similar manner or not.

The PhD project will involve both laboratory studies involving descriptive sensory analyses and physiological measurements, as well larger scale, ecologically-valid observational consumer studies. This project calls for a degree of creativity when it comes to designing new ways to measure empirical evidence of background sound on purchasing patterns, eating behaviour and hedonic responses to food. The project also contains development and design of soundtracks to promote specific behavioural patterns.

While the growing literature on multisensory flavour perception has shown that our senses of sight, smell, and touch can all influence food flavour and preference, auditory interventions are perhaps the easiest and cheapest, since they can be implemented with little infrastructure change. Therefore, if proven successful, auditory interventions can be easily adapted, widely distributed and have significant impact on promoting healthy eating behaviours.

Further information:


  • TASTING SENSE: Sensory and consumer perception of basic human sense interactions in food and beverages – the influence of individual and cultural differences in innovative industrial new product development

In this PhD position, the focus will be on sensory perception of taste-taste interactions of different basic taste qualities, namely sweet, sour, salt, bitter, umami in food and beverages as affected by the food matrices, as well as individual and cultural differences in order to create applicable knowledge that can be implemented in industrial food innovation.

The primary aim of the PhD is to study the effect of, taste-taste and cross-modal interaction/effects on basic taste perception.
Moreover, the aim is to investigate cross cultural differences and the effect on basic taste interaction perception in particular between western and eastern cultures.
The PhD will be associated with two existing research collaborations, which will facilitate success and impact of the PhD’s aims:

The Innovation Fund Denmark research project, InnoSweet, funded by the Innovation Fund Denmark under Grand Solutions, which focus on how cross-modal interactions affect our sweetness perception of carbonated and non-carbonated beverages
The cross-cultural aims of the PhD will be facilitated via The SinoDanish Center (SDC) Food and Health Research Theme. This collaboration has been developed between Danish universities and University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) to meet Danish and Chinese food market challenges via stakeholder chain driven research based collaborations to strengthen Denmark and China’s position in the food market.
The PhD project overall will be conducted in close synergy between AU FOOD and other Danish universities and industries and is highly interdisciplinary.

Further information:


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job opportunity at Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate Global

 Senior Sensory Expert position at Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate Global, Netherlands-NH-Wormer

Are you a Sensory Expert that’s looking for the next step in your career? Do you want to work for one of the world’s leading Cocoa and Chocolate businesses? Where you can really make an impact? Where you can create, define and execute your own global sensory strategy and program? Then this might be the dream job for you!

Cargill is a unique place to grow your career, your experience and your abilities. Every day, we grow our reputation as a leading international producer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. We take pride in our global reach, ability to contribute, and strong work ethics and values. Founded in 1865, Cargill is a privately held company and employs 150,000 people in 70 countries. Through innovation, creativity and teamwork, we are transforming entire markets and people’s lives worldwide, and we can have the same impact on your career.

Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate offers the food industry a wide range of both standard and customized cocoa and chocolate ingredients to be used in delicious bakery, confectionery and dairy applications all over the world. This with a team of 3,500 passionate cocoa and chocolate experts in working in 47 locations Together, we provide unique knowledge, insights and ideas service across five continents, built on a foundation of 150 years of experience

Job Purpose:

Within the Product and Process Development department new products and processes are developed and research is done to enlarge the knowledge in the broadest sense of the word on cocoa, chocolate and coatings & fillings.

Within this group a new position for senior sensory expert is created.

The senior sensory expert builds, aligns & communicates sensory capability across Cargill Cocoa and Chocolate (CCC). The sensory expert will provide key technical sensory support to a growing set of projects that require profound knowledge of sensory.

The main objective is to build sensory capabilities and be much more vocal about our sensory capabilities as taste leader, understanding the sensory profile of our products and consumer preferences.


This is a key technical leadership position in sensory technology working closely with Technical Service, Marketing, Product Line Management and FSQR within the CCC business and closely with other sensory experts within Cargill. The scope of the role is global, meaning close interaction with all regions (EU, NA, LATAM, APAC and METNA). An in-depth knowledge of advanced sensory evaluation techniques including but not limited to consumer and difference testing focus groups, descriptive analysis, along with statistical sensory data analysis will be key for this role. He/she also supports the local sensory tags.


Your Principal Accountabilities:

  • Responsible for defining and executing the sensory strategy and program to build sensory competences in line with the innovation and technology roadmaps
  • Directly contributes to the CCC’s innovation pipeline with ideas for the conversion of scientific and sensory insight as well as to the growth of distinctive product/process/applications offerings
  • Align with Strategy & Innovation and R&D team to deliver sensory results that enable the business to succeed, create opportunities from scratch, building on the needs of internal and external customers
  • Apply sensory expertise to product and process development, to quality control teams by using appropriate sensory methodologies (consumer panels, focus groups, difference panels, descriptive analysis, shelf life testing)
  • Effectively manages complex sensory projects concerning time and resource management to meet internal and external customer expectations, including overseeing the link with other projects
  • Understand the latest sensory methods, including analytical sensory research and sensory methodologies, and bring new ideas forward to the CCC business
  • Identify innovative new approaches related to sensory science, sensory analytics, statistical analysis, product and ingredient development
  • Setup and improving the CCC sensory program, sensory research and current sensory testing capabilities
  • Manage external sensory services and research
  • Support and advice in recruitment and maintenance of all trained CCC taste panels
  • Pro-actively advice FSQR teams to develop effective sensory programs
  • Pro-actively advice Marketing teams to develop sensory communication
  • Draws upon in-depth sensory knowledge to leverage and to support R&D innovation growth by partnering with businesses and with key corporate enterprise/strategic customers as well with technology partners (commercial and marketing/sales groups, universities, R&D organizations, industry forums, etc.) to identify emerging trends and needs
  • Working closely together with both (international) colleagues of Technical Services, Operations, FSQR, Engineering, Sales & Marketing and research institutes/suppliers

Required Qualifications

  • Advanced academic degree (MSc. and/or PhD) in sensory science or consumer science or equivalent experience (Food Science, Food Technology, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, etc.)
  • Experience (10+ years) in food industry
  • Demonstrated ability to influence and lead sensory projects
  • Strong drive and entrepreneurship to build sensory expertise and implement sensory capabilities in the CCC business
  • Strong analytical and statistical thinking capabilities. Ability to understand and interpret qualitative and quantitative sensory data and statistical analysis
  • Sound communication skills at all levels within the company, including stakeholder management
  • Excellent verbal, communication, prioritization, report writing and presentation skills. Including the ability to communicate technical and sensory details to wide array of people and project teams
  • Innovative mind set and proactive approach
  • Ability to travel up to 20%
  • Fluent in English both spoken and written

Preferred Qualifications

  • Relevant work experience in cocoa and chocolate industry is an advantage
  • Experience in designing, executing and interpreting consumer panels
  • Experience in recruiting, training and managing descriptive panel
  • Experience in using sensory data collection software (e.g. EyeQuestion)
  • Experience working with third party testing agencies
  • Experience in focus groups, one on one interviews, concept testing, turf analyses, conjoint analyses
  • Experience in using statistical software to analyse sensory data (e.g. Minitab)
  • Project Management experience
  • Affinity with production processes is a clear advantage

Apply now:


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Job opportunity at PepsiCo – Cork, Ireland

Sensory Scientist position open at PepsiCo
Cork, Ireland

Primary Accountabilities:

  • Accurate, timely analysis of samples and reporting and interpretation of data in compliance with Pepsi Co Standards.
  • Troubleshoot technical issues relating to laboratory analysis to optimise lab processes.
  • Provide Technical Support to Business on bottling operations i.e. all aspects of in plant sensory programs, processes as well as trouble-shooting of raw materials in-process and finished beverage.
  • Apply knowledge of the core discipline to provide input into Method Development, Best Practice tool development and identification and enhancements of training requirements.
  • Deliver sensory trainings for beverage plant personnel at international location or through webinars.
  • Update sensory training documents and materials as required.
  • Communicate with the plants and follow-up on sensory issues in the plant.
  • Work closely with the Training & Learning team on follow up requirements for participants after training.
  • Comply to PepsiCo Lab Quality System through the development adherence and maintenance of
    procedures and policies for their respective areas (Operating Procedures Calibration Audits, GLP &
    safety proficiencies)
  • Ensure smooth running of all laboratory operational requirements.
  • Support the development and implementation of the lab strategy through participation in relevant
    teams and projects.
  • Ensure flexibility within the department by acting as back up as required.
  • Define performance goals, track and analyse performance measures and establish/implement
    improvement plans to grow and develop the respective area.
  • Serves as sensory representative on business teams.
  • Applies design of experiments to sensory evaluation testing.
  • Interprets statistical analysis of the results of sensory evaluation testing.
  • Confers with research and development, marketing, packaging, manufacturing and other departments.

Essential Skills:

  • Degree/Diploma in Sensory or Consumer Science.
  • A minimum of 3-5 years sensory experience preferably in the food industry.
  • Knowledge of sensory and consumer methodologies and experience using these methodologies.
  • Experience with running sensory panels, data analysis and interpretation of results.
  • Strong computer skills (Word, Excel, Power point).
  • Excellent writing, presentation and communication skills for delivery of sensory training.
  • Strong organizational, time-management and teamwork skills.
  • A self-starter, proactive in delivering results & with a drive to increase efficiency.
  • Knowledge of data collection software FIZZ would be advantageous.
  • Experience with the planning, execution, analysis, interpretation and delivery of results of consumer studies.

Further information:


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Tenure track/full professor position available at University of Helsinki


University of Helsinki, Finland

deadline for application: 13 November 2018

The position may be filled as a tenure track assistant professor, tenure track associate professor or full professor depending on the candidate’s merits and career stage.

The field of the position is sensory food science. The appointee shall be involved in both national and international collaboration with a motivation to create her/his own research group with having profound connections to food science. The appointee shall also be active in obtaining research funding. The appointee will be responsible for the teaching related to sensory food science in the BSc and MSc programmes of food sciences and for the doctoral education offered by the department (…) together with the other experts in food science. The Department of Food and Nutrition provide an excellent research environment regarding collaboration in sensory food science and consumer behavior with experts in different food raw materials, processing technologies, and packaging technology. The department also offers possibilities for collaboration with experts in nutrition and food behavior.

Further information:


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Lecturer position in Sensory Science at Lincoln University

Lecturer / Senior Lecturer in Sensory Science
Lincoln University – New Zealand

Deadline for application: 19th October 2018

The successful candidate will be a member of the Department of Wine, Food and Molecular Biosciences. The Department is responsible for teaching Bachelor Degrees in Viticulture and Oenology and in Food Science, as well as jointly delivering the Bachelor of Agribusiness and Food Marketing with the Faculty of Agribusiness and Commerce.

Food (including beverages) is a key strategic focus for the University, with a new initiative entitled “Food for Future Consumers” about to be launched. We expect that the successful candidate, as well as playing a role in advancing the sensory science discipline, to contribute significantly to this initiative and embrace a dynamic interdisciplinary research culture working collegially with other academics in food and wine science, technology, agriculture and horticulture, business and marketing.

Further information


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Post of the month September 2018


A six-month research and training visit at the University of Arkansas

Laura Andreea Bolos, PhD student at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden


This a short summary of my six-months research and training visit during the spring of 2018, at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Why I went. What I did. What I learned.

I am a fourth-year PhD student at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, in Uppsala. My area of research is consumer behavior and food waste as part of the EU project SUSFOOD – Consumers in a sustainable food supply chain: understanding barriers and facilitators for acceptance of visually suboptimal foods (COSUS).

Thanks to Rodolfo M. Nayga, Jr., a Distinguished Professor and Tyson Endowed Chair in Food Policy Economics in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness at the University of Arkansas, my main supervisor, Carl-Johan Lagerkvist, Professor of Business Economics and Head of the Department of Economics at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and SLU fund for internationalization of doctoral studies, I was able to do a six-month research and training visit in the USA during the spring semester of 2018.

During my stay in the USA, together with Rodolfo Nayga and Carl-Johan Lagerkvist, we started to design and plan a study as part of my PhD project. The study is focusing on consumer food waste and is comprised of a survey that will be distributed to consumers across US. This research and study visit was a great opportunity for me, since it allowed me to study food waste in US, which otherwise wouldn’t have happened.

My visit at the University of Arkansas, enabled me to build a greater network with researchers from around the world, and start collaborative work. Moreover, many of the researchers working at the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness at the University of Arkansas are leading experts the field of experimental economics and consumer behavior research. Working with them helped me to further develop and increase my understanding of consumer behaviors and decision-making, specifically when it comes to food waste. My stay allowed me to broaden my knowledge of state-of-the-art economics concepts as well as my quantitative and analytical skills. It also helped me see how academic life at an American university looks like on a daily basis.

On a personal level, the research and training visit meant learning to adapt to a new environment and culture, seeing different ways of living, making new acquaintances and friends. I am very grateful for this experience.

About University of Arkansas: It was founded in 1871 in Fayetteville, on a hilltop overlooking the Ozark Mountains. The university is the state’s foremost partner and resource for education and economic development. The university’s enrollment is more than 27,000 and its students represent all 50 states and 120 countries.

About Swedish University of Agricultural Studies: It is a young university founded in 1977 and has its main campus in Uppsala, Sweden. It is a research-intensive university, where research and doctoral education stand for 70 percent of SLU’s turnover. Here sound basic research is combined with more practical studies to solve concrete problems.


Welcome to attend the EAAE seminar nr 168: Behavioural Perspectives in Agricultural Economics and Management, February 6-7, 2019 at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Ultuna Campus, Uppsala, Sweden

You can find more information about:

Me on campus at University of Arkansas

Picture by Diana Danforth.

Written by: Laura Andreea Bolos (PhD student at SLU, Uppsala, Sweden)





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Post of the month August 2018


A review of the 2018 IFST Sensory Science Group Conference

Marit Nijman, PhD Student at The University of Nottingham
7th June 2018 – University College Birmingham, United Kingdom

This year’s IFST SSG conference was titled ‘Health is Wealth’, exploring the link between sensory research and health. The 2018 IFST Sensory Science Group Conference was hosted by University College Birmingham and attended by students, academics, and industry researchers.

The day started with a welcome from the chair of the IFST Sensory Science group Stephanie Mitchell, followed by the first talk of the day by Dr Martin Kern from SAM Sensory and Marketing International who explained how consumers conceptualise Wellbeing in relation to food and drinks across the world. Not surprisingly, a large-scale survey conducted in 14 countries revealed very interesting cross-cultural differences in how consumers defined wellbeing.

Professor Martin Yeomans, Professor of Experimental Psychology at the University of Sussex taught us about the ‘new Sensory Specific Satiety’ which he calls Hedonic Sensory Contrast, and which suggests that liking is affected by degree of hedonic contrast between food items. Generally people will eat more of products with a high hedonic palatability than products with low liking scores. Interestingly enough though, contrasting between an unpleasant and pleasant tasting foods will have a bigger effect on liking and food intake than when participants are only exposed to pleasant or only unpleasant tasting foods.

Lisa Dreyfuss from Biofortis presented a method to support wellbeing claims on packaging using a questionnaire based on an extensive literature review. Since well-being can be an elusive concept and covers physical, intellectual, psychological/emotional, social, spiritual, occupational and environmental dimensions, Biofortis developed the questionnaire as a tool to measure all these aspects and help support specific well-being related claims for consumer products.

A novel element to the conference was the Student Flash Poster Presentation session, where six students had the opportunity to present their work to the audience. This allowed me and four other students to give a 10 minute talk in addition to having our research displayed in the poster area.

My work focuses on measuring the effect of context on consumers’ emotional responses to beer products. That might not seem like a topic that relates to health, but if my findings allow improvement of sensory consumer research methods, that would support the food industry in the development of products that are healthier, but still well-liked. I found different clusters of consumers in my experimental data that had varying product preferences and that also differed in how sensitive they were to context. Although some consumers are very sensitive to context and significantly change their preference depending on whether they taste beer samples in a bar or a sensory laboratory, you can improve their results in the lab by asking them to imagine being in a bar. That means that for this group of people you can improve external validity in a simple way while still testing products in a controlled setting.

Leonardi Louis from Cardiff Metropolitan University presented some very interesting research on the effects of ingredients on the sensory characteristics and consumer preferences of gluten free-bread. A highly relevant topic since more and more consumers choose to avoid gluten in their diet. His work will hopefully contribute to tastier gluten free bread in the future.

A high intake of sodium is related to health problems and therefore Katherine Hurst from the University of Nottingham is studying sodium release from crisps during food oral processing. In her 10-minute presentation she described the methods she used to study the release of sodium in the mouth using different commercial crisp products. The excellent work Katherine is doing in this area will provide strategies for salt reduction in food products.

Lucy Turner from the University of Reading held a passionate talk about the unexpectedly large variation in flavours of different varieties of Apium graveolens, better known as celery. Her PhD project aims to relate volatile analysis to the odour perception of this healthy green.

Imogen Ramsey from the University of Nottingham aims to improve the sensory characteristics of low alcohol beer. She did an excellent job presenting her research on the influence of ethanol on drivers of liking in beer and managed to relate her findings to that of other speakers. She was rewarded with the Student Flash poster prize which included a one-year membership to the IFST as well a hundred pounds!

During the lunch break the students presented their posters in the poster area. Beyond the work that was presented in the flash poster competition, there were posters on a range of different sensory topics ranging from the effects of rating scale length on sample discrimination to consumer acceptability of bitterness in Brussel sprouts.

After the lunch break it was time for a fascinating talk by Professor Carl Philpott from the Rhinology & ENT research group at Norwich medical school and James Paget University hospital. He gave us an insight to what it is like to live with olfactory disorders and opened our eyes to the many implications a reduced sense of smell can have on a sufferer’s life and health.

Dr Sarah Santos-Murphy, Mark Erwins and Mandy Lloyd from University College Birmingham treated us to an interactive workshop on how the microstructure of ice cream impacts our perception and liking. A second workshop was hosted by Deiniol Pritchard from The Fat Duck Group, who challenged our creativity and gave us new ways of thinking about taste, flavour and texture combinations by developing our own salad.

The final talk of the day was delivered by Felix Kormelink from Mars Global R&D. He spoke about the ways Mars as a food producer tries to facilitate healthy eating for its consumers.

All in all the programme of this year’s IFST SSG conference was packed with engaging activities and informative talks. Thanks to the excellent organisation the conference was a great success. I came away from the day with a lot of new insights and I am grateful for the opportunity the organisers gave me to present my work. I look forward to attending the conference again next year!



Written by Marit Nijman

Sensory Science PhD student

University of Nottingham

School of Biosciences

Division of Food Science

Email me at

Or contact me via LinkedIn:



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Call for applications: PhD position in cognitive science at Institut Paul Bocuse

The perceptual and cognitive markers of flavored products naturalness:
a cross-cultural perspective

Lyon Neuroscience Research Center (CRNL) – Institut Paul Bocuse Research Center, Ecully – MANE Flavor & Fragrance Manufacturer

Deadline for application: September 16th 2018

Consumers’ expectations are generally well known but poorly understood. However, a proper understanding of consumer’s expectations is needed to reduce the failure rate of new products in the market by providing better pre-launch decision criteria.
Naturalness features among the main expectations of consumers in different fields. 80% of consumers were interested in looking for naturalness in the food sector (TNS, 2012). Natural products represent one of the only sources of growth in the sector of the DPH (Drugstore, Perfumery, and Hygiene) (LSA, Trade & Consumption, article of 14/09/17).
Even if there is a large consensus in the field of consumer research that naturalness features among the main consumers’ expectations, the notion of naturalness is still vague and poorly understood (Roman et al., 2017). Moreover, the sensory and cognitive markers that trigger the naturalness category remain to be identified especially in the aromatic products domain.
The general objective of the present PhD project is to identify the different properties (olfactory, visual and semantic) associated with the category of naturalness, to measure the strength of implicit associations using methodologies from cognitive science, and the robustness of these associations across distinct cultural areas. The results obtained will highlight the perceptual and cognitive markers of perceived naturalness, and will be exploited by marketing and R&D departments to better interpret and meet the expectations of consumers regarding naturalness.



Thesis co-supervisors:

  • Dr. Moustafa Bensafi, Research Director at Lyon Neuroscience Research Center (CRNL, Lyon)
  • Dr. Jérémie Lafraire, Research Group Leader in Cognitive Science (IPBR), research associate at Institut Jean Nicod (CNRS-EHESS-ENS, Paris, Ulm)

Scientific contact point at MANE: Hélène ALLAIN, Head of the sensory analysis department at Mane (Bar Sur Loup)

The PhD student will be mainly based at IPBR (Lyon).
Regular stay at CRNL and Mane (Bar-sur-Loup, 06)
Potential field work abroad

Further information


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