Sensory Science Group

The Sensory Science Group (SSG) provides members with many opportunities to engage and share knowledge with fellow professionals. It is a very active group, typically meeting three times per annum for a wide range of activities, including an annual Sensory Conference and regular discussion workshops. They cover a wide range of topics, relating to the sensory properties of food and drink, including: sensory testing and analysis; consumer trends; neuroscience; the impact of social networking; health and wellness. Formerly known as ‘Professional Food Sensory Group’ (PFSG), the group celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2019. They are also involved in accreditation and examination of sensory training, and the review and promotion of ethical and professional standards.

SSG has close links with the European Sensory Science Society (E3S), an organisation promoting cooperation, shared goals, integration of activities, knowledge and information exchange among national organisations across Europe. 

Top image credit: Sensory Science Centre, University of Nottingham

Meet the Sensory Science Group Committee

Chair: Stephanie Mitchell CSci, RSensSci, FIFST

Senior Sensory Manager at PPL Insights

Steph feels that the SSG is an excellent vehicle for sensory and consumer professionals, to network, keep up-to-date with latest developments and enhance their skills. 

Vice-Chair:  Silvia Peleteiro MIFST 

Sensory Manager at Suntory Beverage & Food Europe

Silvia was keen to be actively involved in the world of sensory science by joining SSG. She enjoys meetings and conferences where she keeps up-to-date with sensory developments and meets up with other sensory professionals.

Secretary: Casiana Blanca J. Villarino CSci, RSensSci, FIFST

Other Members: Kate Bailey, Pam Beyts, Sarah Billson, Stephanie Bull, Jane Clark, Virginie Cotte, Joanne Hort, Sarah Kemp, Stella Lignou, Jean A McEwan, Lisa Methven, Isabella Nyambayo, Carol Raithatha, Lauren Rogers, Tracey Sanderson, Nicola Stanley, Victoria Whelan
Get to know the Working Groups:
  • Accreditation & Education: Managing the Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced (RSensSci) awards in sensory science for the IFST, ensuring they are relevant, up to date and meeting the needs of students and course providers. 
  • Ethical & Professional standards: Upholding professional standards in sensory science by creating IFST Guidelines for Ethical and Professional Practices for the Sensory Analysis of Foods and coordinating IFST’s membership of the BSI Sensory Analysis Committee (linked to ISO). 
  • Events: Organising events, including workshops and conferences, to keep anyone with an interest in sensory and consumer sciences up-to-date with new concepts and techniques and to provide networking opportunities. 
  • Communications: Promoting the activities of the SSG and its Working Groups by facilitating information flow across and between members of the SSG and IFST overall.
  • Student & Early Career Researcher 
  • Other points of contact
    • Student Awards
    • BSI Representative 
    • European Sensory Science (E3S)
Upcoming Events




View all IFST events



IFST Sensory Science Group Webinar: Text-analytics tasting: The secret ingredient or not yet ripe

Students and competitions


IFST travel bursaries aim to support attendance at conferences or meetings related to all areas of food science. We offer two opportunities a year for students to apply.

Find out more

Sensory science for students

The Sensory Science Student Group was formed in 2013. 

Find out more about the aims of the Group

Join the Professional Register of Sensory Scientists

The Sensory Science Group's accreditation scheme for those working in Sensory Science was launched in 2004 with the provision of the Foundation and Intermediate syllabi and these have become acknowledged professional qualifications that signify the status of individuals working in Sensory Science.

In 2014, the Register of Professional Sensory Scientists (RSensSci) was added to the scheme. It provides a third and higher tier to the scheme and a level of professional recognition previously unavailable in the sensory science field.

Find out more about how to become a Registered Sensory Scientist today!

Sensory Course Accreditation Schemes

The Sensory Science Group has led the development of a formal qualification for sensory scientists. This has greatly enhanced the credibility and professional status of those working in the field.

The introduction of consistent standards for the content and delivery of sensory training courses has reassured attendees as to the quality and content of these courses and has ensured the level of training provided.
The inclusion of an examination structure and award of IFST’s Certificate of Achievement also provide delegates with an opportunity to gain tangible benefits from attending these courses.

Find out more about Sensory Training Accreditation today.

European Sensory Science Society (E3S)

The Sensory Science Group is a member of the European Sensory Science Society (E3S).

The E3S is a nonprofit organisation devoted to promote cooperation, shared goals, integration of activities, knowledge and information exchange among national sensory science organisations across Europe. The SSG represents the UK at E3S, alongside national Sensory Societies from Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and The Netherlands. 

Read the review from the E3S Annual Symposium which was held in May 2019

Read the review from the E3S Early Stage Researcher Group Webinar hosted on 30 January 2019 

Ethical and Professional Standards

The Ethical and Professional Standards Working Group of SSG keeps up to date with important ethical aspects of sensory testing and communicates these to SSG members. The Group also sits on the British Standards Institute Committee (BSI) to review BSI contributions to ISO Sensory Standards.

An overview of ethical considerations in sensory testing is available here

IFST Impact Award

We value the important contribution that volunteers bring to the work and life of the Institute. Without the contribution of the volunteers who serve on committees, branches and special interest groups, we would find it difficult to achieve the strategic priorities set out by the Board of Trustees. The Impact Award is an opportunity for volunteers to showcase an innovative activity that has been undertaken that meets the following criteria.

  1. Is new and has been undertaken in the last 12 months which delivers measurable impact to any/any/all IFSTs strategic priorities, or
  2. Is an existing activity that has undergone an adaptation or change in order to deliver an enhanced impact linked to any/all of IFSTs strategic priorities, and which 
  3. Is scalable and sustainable. 

Previous winners:

2021 IFST South Eastern Branch and President’s Special Award to COVID-19 Advisory Group

2020 IFST Northern Ireland Branch and Eastern Branch 

2019 IFST Student Group

2018 IFST Student Group

2017 IFST Sensory Science Group

Find out more about the previous winners, entry criteria and submissions here.

Get in touch

Our Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are each run by a small committee of volunteer members, who meet both face-to-face and virtually. Members of a group are actively involved in organising and attending meetings in relation to setting up activities, events etc., as part of a committee. The groups are supported by the IFST central team, including the Scientific Affairs Manager, and provide excellent networking opportunities and support to group members.

If you would like to get involved as a member of our Sensory Science Group committee, please contact us.

IFST Community

Log on to our communication platform for all IFST members, IFST CommunityThis online space is open for you to make contact and communicate freely and easily with other members and to engage with our many Networks. Here are some step-by-step instructions to get you started. We’ve also created a simple how-to video.

Sensory Science Community Network