Sensory Perception & Food Preference: The age of pleasure

Date: 5 – 8 March, 2024

Location: Wageningen, The Netherlands

The aim of this advanced course is to acquire expertise regarding sensory perception and food preferences; to initiate discussions with experts, to obtain knowledge on and experience in different topics and methods related to sensory and liking; to connect with other professionals/colleagues in the field.


Food preferences are a major determinant of food intake, and are largely driven by the sensory properties of food products. The course will focus on the role of sensory characteristics for the development and maintenance of food preferences: we eat what we like. In the current ‘age of pleasure’, our environment is filled with an immense amount of pleasurable, liked products, and everything we do, consume, buy, has to be reviewed in terms of like or dislike (thumbs up, swipe right etc). This course will focus on questions such as ‘what is liking’ (where we will discuss differences in definitions of liking, wanting, reward, pleasure, etc), ‘how do we measure liking’ (where you will learn about proper old and new methodologies) and discuss the usefulness of measuring liking at all. Moreover, we will concentrate on drivers of liking, such as individual characteristics, development of food preferences, and finally move towards (the function of) dislike and liking beyond food experiences.

Target group

The course is at graduate level and aims at food scientists, nutritionists and other sensory- or consumer behavior-related professionals. The course may be valuable for PhD candidates working on eating or consumer behavior, sensory perception or nutrition and food science, and for those in food or sensory (R&D) industry.

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