Yuchi’s report from Eurosense

Eurosenses2014_1000x130yuchi eurosenseE3S Student Award 2014 – Report from Eurosense

Yuchi Shen, University of Reading, UK, awarded for her oral presentation entitled:
Genetic and phenotypic measures of taste & their impacts on food perception, liking and choice

By Yuchi Shen

I would like to thanks the European Sensory Science Society (E3S) for the student award that supported me to attend the 6th EuroSense conference which was recently held in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The theme of this conference was “a sense of life”. The keynote in the opening day was a great start to understand the role sensory science has played in Nordic countries for centuries and its effects across the lifespan. In the following days of the conference, there were different keynote lectures, oral sessions, workshops, and also 367 posters showing a number of exciting research studies in this area.

As a final year PhD student, an oral presentation was a great opportunity to present my study to an international audience and evaluate it through later discussion of my work with many experts in my research area. My research mainly focuses on the genetic and phenotypic differences in taste sensitivity and their influences on food perception, preference and choice. The results of my study have highlighted that food perception, liking and choice were affected by both taste genotypes and phenotypes. Moreover, vegetables and dietary fat intake were not only influenced by the taste sensitivity (both genotypes and phenotypes), but also affected by different food habits and culture. Finally, the results also suggested interaction between genetic and phenotypic factors as well as food habits should be considered in future studies, especially in the study of food preference and dietary intake. However, numerous questions still exist in this area, and further research is required to give us a whole picture of how sensory plays a role in human life and how we can use it make our life healthier and better.

The conference not only provided me a chance to update my knowledge within my research area, it also gave me the opportunity to meet a number of sensory professionals including leaders in my field of research. All the feedback and suggestions I received were very useful in helping shape the direction of my research, and also to discover more new research ideas for the future.

I was so glad that this meeting provided me with the opportunity to learn from many original research findings from different scientific areas and also their industrial applications. In addition, I also gained the chance to learn and practice presentation skills and to discover useful tips about how to improve my presentation skills for future.

There were not only inspired academic talks in the conference, also an exciting cultural trip before gala dinner in the Tivoli garden, which is the second oldest amusement park in the world. As a great reward to all the hard-working scientists, the gala dinner with excellent food and wine, as well as the environment made the evening memorable.

Again, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to E3S for awarding me the student award. Without the great support from E3S, it would not have been possible to present my work at this important international conference and have incredible time in Copenhagen.