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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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13 PhD positions open within the ITN FOODENGINE

MSCA – Initial Training Network FOODENGINE
Vacancy for recruitment of 13 early-stage researchers (ESR)

FOODENGINE offers a research-based training programme for 13 young food scientists and technologists on the transformation of fruits, vegetables and legumes (FVL) in high-quality, multi-functional ingredients and foods appealing to consumers. The research-based training programme will be based on two new ways of thinking:

  • FOODENGINE will introduce an enginomics approach for food quality design. It connects an omics approach combined with chemometrics to instrumentally quantify quality changes of FVL-based food systems and an advanced engineering approach using multi-response kinetics to model quality changes during processing and storage;
  • FOODENGINE will develop models linking the enginomics-based instrumental food quality design with sensory properties, consumer acceptability and consumer preferences to create new products appealing to consumers.

FOODENGINE combines the interdisciplinary expertise and infrastructure of three highly-ranked European Universities/Research institutes (KU Leuven (BE), UCPH (DK), INRA (FR)), three large-turnover, multinational, R&D-based food (ingredient) companies (Döhler (DE), Cargill (BE), Unilever (NL)), two medium-sized food (ingredient) companies (GNT (DE), Greenyard (BE)) and an international market and consumer research company (Haystack (BE)) into a synergistic consortium to establish an international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral pioneering European food training programme for 13 young researchers, each for 36 months.
Each research project is a joint project between at least two partners within FOODENGINE. During the duration of the project, each recruited fellow is expected to go on one or more secondments (weeks up to months) to another partner to be exposed both to the academic and the private sector. Besides the research-based training, recruited young researchers will receive local and network-wide training in complementary skills (management, communication, valorization) via workshops, winter schools and conferences.
FOODENGINE alumni will master this beyond the state-of-the-art new way of thinking for future food products and process design, complemented with the extensive transferable skills development, they will largely enhance their employability/career perspectives in various professional roles.

Job offer:

  • Attractive 3-year full-time employment contract in accordance with the
  • MSCA regulations for early stage researchers of the European Commission – continuation after the first year is dependent upon a positive evaluationEnrollment in a PhD program whereby PhD tuition fee is paid by project
  • Supervision by recognized experts and access to (beyond) state-of-the-art research and pilot-scale infrastructureTraining in complementary skills via participation at workshops, winter schools and conferences


  • Outstanding, self-motivated researcher with willingness to travel/be seconded on a regular basis in order to perform top-notch research in leading academic institutions,
  • R&D divisions, and industries.Holding a Masters Degree in Food Science & Technology or related discipline with excellent study results (typically minimum “distinction”, “70%” or “second class upper”).
  • Solid written and oral communication skills in English are prerequisites of any successful application (typically IELTS min. 7, TOEFL internet-based min. 90 or similar level as proven by other tests).

Eligibility criteria:

  • Less than 4 years full-time research experience (starting from the date of obtaining the degree which would entitle to embark on a doctorate) and not have a doctoral degree yet
  • Less than 12 months spent in country of the host (see table) in the 3 years prior to the recruitment

Application procedure:

Applications in English should include:

  • Motivational letter describing research career goals, skills and experience
  • CV (contact details, education, work experience, prizes/awards, language skills, etc….)
  • Official academic transcript of Bsc. and Msc. studies
  • Documentation of English language qualifications
  • 2-page research project related to the topic of choice
  • Full contact details of two reference persons

Application in a single pdf-file should be sent by e-mail to with indication of FOODENGINE and the ESR number you are applying for in the subject line. Candidates who wish to apply for multiple ESR positions within FOODENGINE should apply for each position separately. Equal consideration will be given to female or male applicants.

Evaluation process and timing:
Deadline for application: April 30, 2018
The recruitment is done on a competitive basis across all applicants for each project. After a first selection based on all application files, a second selection round will involve skype interviews and will be held on May 17, 2018.
Envisaged job starting date: between June and December 2018

Further information


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Job opportunity at Institut Paul Bocuse – Research assistant

Job opportunity at Institut Paul Bocuse Research Center – Lyon, France

Research assistant

The post-holder will work on a funded project entitled ‘The impact of herbs and spices on increasing legumes intake and reducing salt through changing the hedonic factors in meals’
Along the increasing global population growth comes the challenge to ensure quality food, in sufficient quantity and with respect to the environment. Despite the well-documented health benefits of legume consumption, the actual intake of legumes remains low owing to people’s preferences for tasty foods. The predominant role of spices and herbs is flavour enhancement. Flavouring of foods using blends of natural herbs and spices (H&S) is a preferred approach to also reduce salt as it results in a clean label product, avoiding inclusion and declaration of chemical compounds. By careful reformulation using H&S, the sensory characteristics and consumer acceptability of low salt legume based products could be improved or maintained. However, studies in this area are limited. This project will explore the strategies increasing the legume intake via the use of H&S to increase hedonic components using two approaches including 1) development of dishes/recipes based on legumes and the appropriate H&S and 2) assessment of sensory perceptions/liking and food consumption.
The project begins on March 2018 and the post holder will work on the implementation and analysis of the field studies.

The successful candidate for this fixed term project will be required to:

  • conduct experiments (participant recruitment / sensory food consumption testing); they will have access to guidance and direct supervision from other members of staff, but may be required to operate with some level of independence
  • collect and record data from experiments
  • make some limited contribution to the design of the experiments, or amendment to protocols; this will be done in consultation with a senior project team member
  • analyse data that is collected
  • write up the reports and results of their research work for publications
  • be responsible for the maintenance of supplies for the project and order consumables from suppliers to ensure that the project is able to operate effectively, efficiently and without delay
  • take responsibility for the administrative work related to their research

Those who are interested in working in this exciting project, learning new tools, and broaden their knowledge in the area of eating behaviour are encouraged to apply. Please send the following application documents merged in one PDF document to
Using ‘Research assistant application IPB’ as ‘subject’ of your e mail

Starting time:
The position is available as soon as possible and is limited to 6 months with the possibility of an extension for a further 6-month period
Closing date for applications is March 23rd 2018
Interviews will take place week commencing April 2nd 2018
Informal requires are strongly encouraged and can be addressed to
Dr Anestis Dougkas:

Further information


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II AEPAS Conference


18th-20th October, Polytechnic University of Valencia, Valencia (Spain)


The Spanish Society of Sensory Professionals (AEPAS) is organizing its Second Sensory Conference with the collaboration of the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA-CSIC)
The Conference that will be held in Valencia from the 18th to 20th October 2017,  is an opportunity for academic and industrial delegates to share and exchange knowledge and challenges on Sensory and Consumer Science. Four invited lectures (see below), and forty oral presentations conform the program of this congress.
Invited speakers:

Dominique Valentin. Outside the lab: What can ethnography bring to sensory evaluation?
Enrique Bigné.  Looking, feeling and making decisions. New frontiers of consumer behaviour research.
Mariano Alcañiz. Neurogatronomy- A bridge between gastronomy and neurosciences neuroscience.
Gastón Ares. Strategies for improving ecological validity on Sensory and Consumer Research.

See more information:


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In memory of André Arbogast

In memory of André Arbogast

We were saddened to hear of the death of our friend and colleague André Arbogast on August 18, 2016. André was a very active member of the sensory community. Not only all Fizz users knew him, but with his enthusiasm he has contributed immensely to make the connection between the different teams in France and worldwide . It now leaves a great void. All our thoughts are with his family and relatives.

Leave a message to the family writing to

You can read the latest messages that have been left below.

 Pour André, avec toute mon affection – Aussi loin que je me rappelle, j’ai toujours vu André aux congrès auxquels je participe régulièrement : Agrostat, Sensometrics, EuroSense et Pangborn ; mais aussi aux deux premiers SenseAsia. C’était toujours un plaisir de causer avec lui, de l’évaluation sensorielle bien sûr, mais aussi des stats, de l’informatique, des voyages, de nos enfants, de la vie en général… André était à l’écoute des autres, il aimait le contact humain et nous aimions être avec lui, sa présence était réconfortante. Je le pensais indestructible…
Aujourd’hui, vient de se terminer le 7ème congrès EuroSense à Dijon dont j’avais, avec Caroline Laval, la responsabilité de l’organisation. Tout s’est bien passé, mais André m’a cruellement manqué. Chaque passage devant le stand Biosystème provoquait en moi un gros coup de blues. Il me demandait des nouvelles de l’organisation d’EuroSense à chaque occasion, cette année à Shanghai en mai, puis à Brighton en juin, puis il est parti soudainement en août sans pouvoir vivre l’évènement avec nous tous, quelle tristesse, quelle injustice !
Suite à l’annonce en début de congrès de la disparition d’André, un très grand nombre de congressistes sont venus vers moi, pour me témoigner leur tristesse, pour partager ensemble quelques souvenirs d’André, tous voulaient savoir comment témoigner leur affection à Gaëlle et à leurs deux garçons, alors nous avons eu l’idée d’ouvrir cette adresse mail pour rassembler les témoignages et les hommages afin que sa famille puisse les lire, afin qu’elle sache que tout le temps qu’André nous a offert par son travail a marqué pour toujours son image dans nos cœurs.
André, mon ami, tu étais un sacré grand bonhomme d’Alsacien, la communauté mondiale de l’analyse sensorielle n’est pas prête de t’oublier. Merci du fond du cœur pour tout ce que tu as fait pour nous.
Pascal Schlich

Condolences – I am deeply saddened by André’s unexpected passing. I have known him for almost two decades and he was one of my first contacts in the field of Sensometrics. He was a highly respected member of this community for many years, and his friendliness is unsurpassed. I learned a lot from him over the years. Like many, the last time I met him was at the Sensometrics conference in July, where he was full of energy and we had good discussions as well as a lot of fun together. I hoped to meet him in Dijon again, but it wasn’t his furtune to join us there anymore. I will miss him.
My thoughts are with his wife and family.
Michael Meyners

André – J’ai été très émue en apprenant cette terrible nouvelle.
J’ai de bons souvenirs avec André, souriant, de bon conseil, qui nous a encouragé quand nous avons commencé à avoir notre propre stand lors des congrès d’analyse sensorielle. Cette année je ne pouvais pas passer devant le stand de FIZZ sans penser à lui. Il manquera à notre communauté du sensoriel.
Je pense beaucoup à sa compagne et ses enfants, et leur souhaite bon courage pour surmonter cette épreuve.
Christine Urbano

Message from Carol Raithatha – J’ai rencontre Andre il y a presque 25 ans. Il m’a beaucoup aide avec une systeme Fizz et pouvait expliquer des choses dans un facon tres claire and concis. Il etait toujours sympathique et comprenait l’humour anglais!! Alors il avait un cote leger, tres aimable. Il manquera tellement au communite d’evaluation sensorielle.
Carol Raithatha


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Sens&Co is  proud to announce that the 4th of November 2014, the extraordinary General Assembly unanimously agreed to change its name, which now becomes:
Société Française d’Analyse Sensorielle.
The website of the French society will soon be updated but can still be accessed at



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