Monthly sensory science related posts will be added here to help students share their research and student experiences. Professionals working in sensory science are also welcomed to contribute posts that will be of specific interest to the student community. If you are involved in E3S and would like to contribute please contact the group E3Sstudents@e3sensory.eu.


María Vallano and Ana Jiménez presented their work “Consumer perception of new products from farmed fish by means of free word association test” at the VI Italian Sensory Science Society Conference, thanks to a young researchers’ exchange program developed between SISS and AEPAS.
30 November-2 December 2016, Bologna (Italy)

Title: Consumer perception of new products from farmed fish by means of free word association test
Authors: 1Jiménez, A., 1Vallano, M., 2Guerrero, L., and 1Chaya, C.
Affiliation: 1Dept. of Agricultural Economics, Statistics and Business Management, Technical University of Madrid, Spain; 2I.R.T.A, Finca Camps i Armet, 17121 Monells, Girona, Spain.

First of all, we would like to thank the collaboration between Società Italiana di Scienze Sensoriali (SISS) and Asociación Española de Profesionales del Análisis Sensorial (AEPAS) for supporting us to attend the 6th SISS National Congress in the beautiful city of Bologna, Italy, from November 30th to December 2th.

The SISS National Congress gathered researchers, workers and students involved in different fields of sensory analysis from Italian universities and companies. Therefore, it was an excellent opportunity to discover the latest findings and trends in this field and to share opinions and different points of view. Additionally, some international invited speakers participated at the conference like Joanne Hort, Betina Piqueras-Fiszman and Gastón Ares.

The Congress was held in four main sessions, the first one dealt with  the individual variation in food perception, the second focused on  the consumer’s affective response towards products, the third session was about the sensory properties involved on product descriptions and the final session was based on  the composition of food product and sensory properties: instrumental and sensory studies. Each session had a reserved space for poster presentations. And there was a session dedicated to The Award SISS Giovani Ricercatori and The International Award in Sensory and Consumer Science.  We had the great opportunity to do an oral presentation at an international conference like SISS. Our study focused on consumers perception of new products ideas manufactured from  farmed fish using the free word association test. This test proved to be a useful tool for capturing the most unconscious dimension of consumer perceptions, thus proving a valuable input for the development and optimization of new products. In addition, we enjoyed visiting Bologna city (Le due Torri, Basilica di San Petronio…) and shared an amazing gala dinner in Cantina Bentivoglio with the attendees to the Conference.

To sum up, we would like to say thank to SISS-AEPAS for giving us the opportunity to attend this interesting conference. It was a great academic and personal experience that we highly recommend it to other students.

Ana Jiménez and María Vallano




Interview of a young sensory scientist with Chloé Flattard sensory analysis supervisor at the Livestock Institute (IDELE)

Marine Baudin, sensory scientist


Chloé Flattard sensory analysis supervisor at the Livestock Institute (IDELE).

  • What degree did you do and how did it get you to where you are now?

Originally I wanted to work in veterinary medicine; however I ended up attending EBI (a generalist engineering school in biology) for a master’s degree in biology. I chose to specialise in conception and products innovation in food and cosmetics. During my studies I discovered sensory analysis and formed an expert panel on cosmetic products. As my interest in this field grew, I sought out several internships in sensory analysis to gain experience. Finding a job in France wasn’t an easy task: I successively worked in two services providers in sensory analysis before joining the Livestock Institute, which I have now been at for a year.

  • Why did you choose to work in sensory analysis field?

I really care about developing new products that will appeal to consumers and correspond to their expectations. I enjoy being in contact with panelists and being constantly active in my daily work. Another aspect I enjoy is leading a study from the beginning to the end and being able to appreciate how far the project has gone!

  • Could you describe your job and your goals?

I work for the livestock Institute where I manage sensory and consumer studies for farming in general, as well as working specifically on meat and milk products in my intern sensory laboratory and also in other firms.

  • What is your favourite part of your job?

What I really enjoy is the diversity of the tasks. I am often away for my work to advise different firms and oversee studies, so I never get bored!

  • What is the hardest part of your job?

When I started the livestock institute and farm field, I realised that it was very difficult to work on meat, as it is a complex product, due to variation between animals. We have to deal with many species and complex studies!

  • What do you think about sensory analysis and its evolution?

Sensory analysis is still in evolution. Professionals are concerned about these sensory problems and want to provide quality products corresponding to expectation behaviour. There is a lack of papers and information on certain products, so each firm train their expert panelists in different way.

  • Can you give an example of a project you are working on?

Currently, little is known about consumer expectations for meat: there is little data available, and it focuses on surveys rather than sensory analysis. We are currently working on a big project to understand consumer opinions of meat. We are organising tasting sessions to understand various traits, such as colour, fatty meat and its acceptability.

  • How do you want to advance you career?

In the future, I would like to develop the sensory activity within the company and offer more services to other firms. I will have to develop my business and commercial skills to successfully offer our services as best as I can!

  • Some advice for beginners in sensory analysis?

Go ahead!! Sometimes it is necessary to make compromises to get a great job. The more experience you gain, the more likely you are to get your ideal job. A good way to improve your skills is to work in a company which provides sensory analysis services.

  • Do you work with other countries? What kind of links do you have with other countries?

I work with very few foreign companies, but I know that Australia is advanced in the field of meat tasting – they have created a system which predicts the quality of the meat from sensory results. We need to learn from their expertise to develop this same system in France.

  • Any interesting anecdotes or last comment to end with?

One of the harder (and funnier) parts of my job is carrying out consumer tastings with children in the dark – I didn’t think that I would have to stop hide and seek games during my work hours!


Answers recorded by Marine Baudin, sensory scientist

SFAS members, young graduated student of sensory analysis field

Contact me via Linkedin: https://fr.linkedin.com/in/marine-baudin-187433a1






Frida Felicia Vennerød, PhD-candidate, Nofima and The University of Oslo


The seventh biannual Eurosense conference on sensory and consumer research took place in Dijon, France in September. The conference included 48 oral presentations, and more than 250 poster presentations. With 664 attendees, a jam-packed programme with both an interesting scientific programme, well thought out exhibitions and a strong social platform, this year’s conference was larger than ever.  The name of this year’s Eurosense was “A Sense of time”, and with such a full program, the sense of time was fast.

The conference also included workshops and tutorials. E3S hosted two well-attended workshops discussing taste sensitivity, with the focus on Implication of taste sensitivity on food preference and food behaviour, and taste sensitivity measurement and genetics of taste, respectively. Several members of the E3S student group were involved in the oral presentations given at this workshop, a good indication of the continued importance of research regarding taste sensitivity. Members of the E3S student group as well as other students were also involved in and gave several other oral and poster presentations.

Another highlight for the young researchers at Eurosense was the second meeting of E3S Student group. The group arranged a get-together during lunch, with attendees from the majority of the 13 countries represented within E3S. Networking as well as discussions, both formal and more informal, was the agenda.

Students from the E3S student group who met at Eurosense 2016

While the E3S student group is growing we are continually looking to expand, so if you or your peers may be interested in joining the group, please visit http://www.e3sensory.eu/e3s-student-group-join-us/ for more information, or contact group leader Martha Skinner via E3Sstudents@e3ssensory.eu

fridaReview written by Frida Felicia Vennerød, PhD-candidate, Nofima and The University of Oslo. 

Contact me via Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/frida-felicia-f-vennerød-2727728b





My time at POST: The interface between your research and parliament 

Sarah Smith, PhD Student at the University of Reading (UK)

This post is about my time working as a fellow for the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). The IFST (amongst other funding bodies) fund one fellowship a year for a three month placement at POST. This is a great opportunity for PhD students to experience how scientific research is disseminated to the Members of Parliament.

The main points I’d like to highlight in this post is the great experience you could have if you wanted to apply:

  1. An opportunity to observe and be a part of the interface between scientific research and policy
  2. Great chance to get a deeper understanding of the workings of parliament in general
  3. Meet new friends and consider alternative career options

I applied for the POST fellowship last year because I have always been interested in scientific communication and thought it would be a great opportunity to get involved in an entirely different area than I’d thought about before. The fellowship involves a 3-month placement researching a scientific topic that is either currently being discussed in parliament, a recent change in legislation has occurred or there is great public interest. The final outcome is a 4-page briefing note, referred to as a POSTnote, that is thoroughly researched and peer reviewed. I was given the POSTnote topic “Intellectual property and plants” (see picture below) and found the whole process of researching this topic very interesting and different from anything I’d ever done before.

image 1

My degree is in Human Bioscience and my PhD is sensory based so this was a different area to say the least! To research the POSTnote topic, understanding policy that relates to the topic is vital as well as having an understanding of the science. For example, the POSTnote I researched was about the intellectual property (IP), therefore, the first thing I did was find out what kinds of IP exist and how scientific inventions are protected by them. Having an understanding of genetics helped as much of the debate revolves around whether patents should be granted for essentially biological processes such as conventional breeding (breeding two plants together to produce a new plant with a mixture of traits from the parent plant), however, not much of the hard science actually went into the final note (very little space means you can’t go into the deep science).

After this initial background the majority of the time spent on the note is in interviews with stakeholders and government departments to further understand the issues and concerns. I contacted about 30 people regarding my topic and interviewed about 20. This gave me the chance to really understand the different sectors and how they influence each other. Everyone had conflicting views on the topic and most provided me with further reading and more people to chase up, which was great. I even got a free visit to Kew gardens for a day to speak to the head of IP and business.

image 2

During my time at Westminster I was given lots of opportunities to attend debates, PM question time, select committee meetings (MPs & Lords invite speakers to gather evidence on particular issues. I attended one where Jamie Oliver spoke at regarding childhood obesity and sugar tax), APPGs (committee meetings for members and Lords, similar to select committees but a bit more specific), and sit in on debates. Further to this, I was given the opportunity to talk at an APPG meeting after my POSTnote was published, which was both a terrifying and wonderful opportunity. Furthermore, I also wrote various proposals for the POST board about which POSTnotes should be written next. These varied from E- cigarettes regulation to causes of obesity.

To conclude, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at POST and would definitely recommend applying if you found this post interesting. Skills that are required for this fellowship include: good communication, organisation, good personal manor, and ability to be objective and unbiased.

The IFST funded fellowship deadline has now passed but go to http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/offices/bicameral/post/fellowships/ for a full list of funders to see if you can apply for any of these.

The POSTnote I wrote can be found here: http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/POST-PN-0517

Sarah SmithSarah Smith

Contact me via Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarah-smith-83813192?






French Association  Sensory Analysis (SFAS) General Meeting

Inter-individual differences: How to describe them?
What is the impact for tests and products development?

Marine Baudin – SFAS member, young graduated student of sensory analysis field

This April, the French Sensory Analysis Association (SFAS) annual conference took place in Paris. The interesting subject about inter individual differences was discussed all day long.

Find a summary of the day in the next article!

We had the great opportunity to start this day with the presence of Margrethe Hersleth, the chairwoman of E3S. She exposed the missions of this European association, and detailed the different working groups and the new involvement of our European students group! Lets started with some promotion of our group! The day promised much!

Marine_website post_April 2016 (image 1)

Margrethe Hersleth, E3S Chair

The subject of inter individual differences was firstly discussed by Farnaz Hanaei from Agroparitech. She observed that if the evaluation is too calibrated, controlled or even made by trained panellist we can lose the perception of inner diversity in consumer perception.

After that, another approach was highlighted by a marketing researcher, Marine Kergoat, through the creation of a new scale for touch. This scale would help to fully understand consumer motivations on touch needs when they buy a product. Does a consumer need to touch a product  for a precise and conscious goal or just for pleasure and, then, an unconscious goal?

The importance of segmentation on the statistical analysis of study results was demonstrated by two employees of Sensostat company.  The differences in preference between several groups of consumers were explained using case studies to detail segmentation and an appropriate cluster analysis. This technique is interesting because it explained some details that are not noticeable with a simple ANOVA analysis. Furthermore, classifying consumers according to their perceptions is a great challenge too. In fact, if the perceptions are not homogeneous between consumers, how could their preferences be?

Finally, the project Epipref was exposed by Virginie Herbreteau. She explained  the tools,  survey and sensory evaluation provided by this project in order to see if a link exits between the preferences  and the behaviour of consumers for fat, sweet and salt products.

Presentation of Epipref project

Presentation of Epipref project

This presentation was completed by the thesis presentation of Aurelie Lampuré. She received the Laureate thesis prize for the importance of her work, and it’s contribution towards understanding and explaining the link between the sensory attraction and consumer behaviour for sweet, salt and fat products. Thanks to the project and thesis a correlation could be established between the preferences and behaviour of consumers.

This day was very rich in various and interesting information about interindividual differences!

A lot is still to be explored on this subject!

Don’t hesitate to join our linkedin group (E3S Student group) and share your experiences on the subject or open a debate!

Or if you just want to learn more and see the presentations of the day clic on the link below : (link available in april soon)

Marine website post April 2016 (image 3)


Marine Baudin
SFAS members, young graduated student of sensory analysis field


DE CONFERENCE – Sensory Science Group Meeting in Reading, UK

Itchy or scratchy? Lumpy or smooth?
How to screen texture sensitivity

In February a meeting of the Sensory Science Group (SSG) took place, discussing the challenges of texture and mouthfeel evaluations. Read more about it in this article.

Saskia Hofmann, PhD Student at the University of Nottingham, UK

The SSG is the national sensory science group within the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) in the UK. Several times per year a one-day meeting is organised, covering different sensory related topics. This time it took place at the University of Reading.

The topic of this seminar was texture and mouthfeel – what are the challenges and how can you screen a panel for texture sensitivity? This topic was particularly interesting for me as my PhD research investigates the mouthfeel of black tea! I was therefore excited to listen and learn more. Approximately 25 people attended the meeting, including 5 students – a great opportunity to get to know more sensory professionals and PhD students.

The meeting started with a talk by Cindy Beeren, the Chair of the SSG. She gave an overview on the methods available to screen a panel for texture sensitivity. It was very interesting to hear that for example small sugar letters can be placed on the tongue and an individual’s ability to detect and correctly identify the letter is used to evaluate their texture sensitivity. We also had the chance to test our own touch sensitivity using Semmes-Wienstein monofilaments. It was really good fun to test each other using these “pencils” which have a fibre filament that vary in size. They are touched onto the skin to identify an individual’s detection threshold. As you can imagine only very sensitive people in our group were able to detect the smaller pencils!

Saskia1 saskia 4

Ruth Greenaway, project manager at Sensory dimensions, discussed the challenges faced in the personal care sector when it comes to texture evaluation. She highlighted the requirements for a personal care panel and the difficulties to evaluate these products. The talk ended with a practical exercise where we were asked to rank three hair samples for increasing smoothness. It was not as easy as I thought because two samples were very smooth, and it made me think how difficult it must be to prepare standards for this type of product.

The last speaker was Tony Milanowski, Lecture at Plumpton College and he spoke about mouthfeel in wine, the talk I looked forward to the most. He gave a very comprehensive overview about mouthfeel in wine, and how difficult it is to use a common language because many wine tasters use their own vocabulary and definitions can be contradictory. I thought the exercise at the end of his talk was the most challenging one. As you may know, in the last decade touch standards were introduced to help panellists to compare mouthfeel to fabric texture (silk, velvet ect.). You can see in the picture we had 3 different wine samples and were asked to feel the fabric and match it to the mouthfeel of the wines. I found it very difficult to match the perception of a liquid in my mouth to the sensation of touching a fabric. I can only imagine how much panel training is required when this method is used.

saskia 3

The meeting finished with a networking lunch, where I got to talk to some interesting people. I really enjoyed the meeting and I am looking forward to the next one.

If you want to know more about the SSG and find out when the next seminar takes place, check out: http://www.ifst.org/communities-technical-networks/sensory-science-group


Saskia Hofmann

PhD Student at the University of Nottingham, UK
Contact via Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/saskiahofmann? 


I Spanish national conference – AEPAS  

Last October, the first Spanish sensory conference was celebrated in Ciudad Real (Spain). Learn the details from the testimonial of a student!

Rocio Dorado, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

October 21st – The conference is about to start and first of all I am surprised of the great attendance to the conference! Almost 100 participants from 16 Spanish universities, 3 Spanish research centres and 24 food industries and techonology centres. Furthermore, among the attendees there are 20 students all working or investigating in the sensory field. There is also representation from different countries, such as Portugal, France, Mexico and Uruguay.

We all enter in the lecture hall; the room is almost empty and there are several people standing up in the back! The theme of the first session is “Sensory perception and methodologies”.

AEPAS 2016My nerves are on edge, as I am the last oral communication of the day. I am presenting the last results of my research “ The impact of using evoked scenarios when measuring emotional response to beer”  . However, the other oral communications are quite interesting and time passes without realizing. Finally, it is my turn; I fit to the time available and I get some interesting questions! It is time to relax with a tasting of PDO products of La Mancha (wine, olive oil, cheese, bread,  saffron and aubergines).




October 22nd – New day and new communications and posters. Today, we start with the continuation of the last session, followed by the second session “New developments for the innovation in the industry” and the third session “Characterization and quality control of PDO products”. There are also two oral poster session with a new technology that I have not seen before in any conference. Instead of printed posters, the posters are projected in screens around the room. I find this alternative original and convenient as you don´t need to travel with the poster! At the end of the day we all go to Almagro (an historical town) for the gala dinner.

October 23rd – Last day of the conference. This last session theme is “ Perspective of the Sensory analysis”. There are two guest communications:  to open the session, the researcher Paula Varela (NOFIMA, Noruega) will give the talk “Sensory characterization from the consumer: new alternative descriptive methodologies”. Finally, the professor Erminio Monteleone (University of Firenze, Italy) will give the closing ceremony keynote entitled “New directions in Sensory Science: the Role of Sensory Science Societies”.

All into together the first national conference has been a success! With 88 accepted communications (24 oral communications and 64 posters), it has been a good opportunity to realise the importance of the sensory analysis in Spain and to meet other students working in the sensory field in Spain.

See more info in: https://aepas2015.wordpress.com/

Rocio Dorado

Spanish student representative







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