E3S Eurosense Student Pieter Punter Award – Leonardo Menghi
After two challenging years due to the spreading of the Covid-19 pandemic, our community finally met in Turku (Finland) on the occasion of the 10th Eurosense conference. It’s undeniable how the pandemic made us realize the importance of human contact. Having again face-to-face interactions with a world-wide panel of experts in sensory and consumer science had a special taste. This year Eurosense was even more unique as I was awarded with the prestigious E3S Eurosense Student Pieter Punter Award. Given the invaluable contribution given by Pieter Punter to our field, I can’t help feeling honored and thankful to the European Sensory Science Society for this recognition.
This 10th edition of Eurosense gave us “A Sense of Earth”. We are at a critical time in the pursuit of healthier and more sustainable food choices, and the variety of contributions addressing this need witnessed how our field has accepted the challenge. There was no lack of intriguing and provoking talks, spanning from the importance of ethnobotanical studies to preserve local food practices to microbes as protagonists of food systems of tomorrow.
Besides having inspired me, Eurosense 2022 was also a great opportunity to share part of results from my PhD with two posters and one oral presentation. Particularly, I presented one poster focusing on the impact of food neophobia on both olfaction and the oral microbial ecology, and one poster focusing on a newly developed approach for sample size calculation. Lastly, I held my oral presentation during the parallel session 10: “Food choice, sensory perception and beyond”. Here, I discussed how potential interplays between taste functioning and our gastrointestinal microbes may shape individual dietary choices. After such a long time, it was a pleasure to talk in front of so many people.
Eurosense 2022 was a successful conference. Beyond the high-quality work of organizers, this edition has offered relevant scientific contributions that will surely drive the development of sensory and consumer science in the next future.
I am already looking forward for Eurosense 2024. Hope to see you all in Dublin!