Post of the Month December 2019


María Mora, Research Scientist at Basque Culinary Center, Spain

On the 11th and 12th of November, AEPAS organized two presentations given by Professor Jean-Xavier Guinard of the University of California, Davis at the “Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería Agronómica, Alimentaria y de Biosistemas (ETSIAAB)” of the “Universidad Politécnica de Madrid”. The two themes addressed were the different strategies studied at the University of Davis to promote healthier eating habits and a review of the methodologies used to study consumer response.

The first talk took place on Monday, November 11th, and was titled “Sensory Strategies for Improving the Diet”. Professor Guinard explained the current situation of society in terms of nutrition and food habits, how obesity has become pandemic and the strategies could be implemented to increase adherence to healthier eating habits. This theme was approached from two different points of view. First, Professor Guinard spoke about the innate taste preferences of humans, the sensory satiety, and the different interactions between aromas and tastes. He also presented different studies focused on the development of healthy and tasty recipes carried out by his research team. The studies conducted at University of California-Davis, were based on the application of protein flips for the development of healthier recipes, in which ingredients such as meat were substituted by plant-based ones (Figure 1); liking and perception of the sensory properties were similar in both proposals. To achieve the expected results, his team has been closely working with the chefs of the Culinary Institute of America, showing that the sensory and the gastronomic knowledge can be powerful tools to fight against obesity.

Principles of healthy, sustainable menus from the initiative “Menus of Change” promoted by the CIA and Harvard University.

On the 12th of November, professor Guinard presented “Qualitative tests of consumers for innovation”. He explained the different methodologies carried out at the University of Davis to develop innovate products. He mentioned the importance of considering the different factors that directly impact food choice, such as: product characteristics, consumers’ culture, consumption context, etc. He also reviewed the most appropriate methodologies, both qualitative and quantitative, to work with consumers, as well as the pros and cons of each of the methods.

Both talks aroused a lot of interest, had a great assistance, and brought together students and professionals from academia and industry, including professors and students from UPM and the Spanish Professionals Association of Sensory Science (AEPAS).

Written by:

María Mora,

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