Ireland E3S Student Representatives

rachel-kellyRachel Kelly (Student representative Ireland)

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Rachel is undergoing her PhD at the University College Dublin (UCD) for two years now under the supervision of Dr. Amalia Scannell.   It involved using rapid methods to facilitate sensory quality determination by the food industry.

From October 2014 to September 2016, the project she undertook involved using different sensory analysis methods to characterise and understand the liking of an Irish PGI product – Waterford Blaa.  As part of this project, Napping, Quantitative Descriptive Analysis (QDA) and consumer test were conducted to investigate the unique selling point not only among other bread products but between Waterford Blaa products themselves.  Instrumental testing was also conducted on the Waterford Blaa products including, compositional, colour, texture and fatty acid methyl ester analysis. In this time, Rachel completed a six – month work placement in Sensory Dimensions, Nottingham where the different sensory evaluation methods were conducted.  The consumer test involved non-Waterford Blaa consumers to obtain insight of naïve consumers about the acceptability of Waterford Blaa.  In September 2016, the consumer test was replicated in County Waterford, Ireland with actual Waterford Blaa consumers to understand the consumers’ perspective and attitude towards Waterford Blaa.  The data from both test will subsequently be compared to understand different consumers’ perspective.

In October 2016, she will undertake a project involving raw and cooked beef. Panellists will be recruited, screened and trained with the QDA method in UCD.  Appearance, aroma and texture will be investigated in this study.  She is very much looking forward to starting this project in the coming weeks.

Paula Conroy (deputy student representative Ireland)

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Paula is currently studying a multidisciplinary PhD in University College Cork. The PhD examines the sensory characteristic perception of food associated with aging and how this impacts consumer food choice, preference and nutrition status.

Paula’s PhD focuses on identifying parameters that subdivide various age cohorts’ preferences for certain foods. These include texture and flavour manipulation using novel and healthy ingredients.  She has investigated age related differences in consumer sensory perception using consumer and QDA analysis. Her work also focuses on packaging solutions.

Her research interests include human nutrition, sensory science, public health science, food science and composition and food packaging.

Paula joined the E3S committee as she feels it is a great medium for sensory science students to share and gain knowledge within the various research areas, thus furthering knowledge in the sensory science field.