IFST Sensory Science Group & E3S Annual Symposium: Sensing the Way to Good Health

Organized by IFSTs Sensory Science Group (SSG) and European Sensory Science Society (E3S)



Listening to consumer voices in sensory and consumer research and innovation

Prof Paula Varela, Nofima and Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway

Professor Paula Varela is Food Engineer from Universidad de la República (Uruguay) and has a PhD from the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (Spain). Professor Paula is a Senior Researcher in Sensory and Consumer Sciences at Nofima and Professor at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Professor Paula has authored more than 150 scientific articles, various book chapters and numerous presentations at conferences; she has co-authored four books on methodological aspects of consumer research and has been ranked among the top 2% most cited researchers in the Food Science area Stanford University. Professor Paula is the current Chair of the European Sensory Science Society, E3S (2021-2022). Professor Paula's current areas of interest include methodological aspects of research with special populations (children, elderly, food sub-cultures) in the light of societal issues related to food behaviour and how to support consumer transition to healthier and more sustainable diets. Professor Paula leads the EU project Edulia, a multidisciplinary training network looking into bringing down barriers to children's healthy eating. She is also part of the InnoFoodAfrica project, supporting the training of African researchers in Sensory and Consumer Science.

Co-creation of food solutions to sustain health and autonomy in older adults

Abstract: For older people, eating well is a key factor in preserving their health and preventing the onset of diseases linked to ageing. However, ageing may be accompanied by a decline in appetite and food intake. Several studies have reported nutrient intake lower than recommended levels for older adults, especially protein. In this context, project FORTIPHY will develop new food solutions which allow older people to fortify their regular meals. The aim is to increase protein and, where needed, calorie intake without increasing the volume to be ingested. The innovation potential of this project lies in involving end-users (older people and caregivers) very early in the development of fortified recipes through focus groups and home-usage tests. This will ensure high adoption and compliance levels by the target population. In parallel, the project will evaluate the nutrition efficiency (bioavailability), influence on satiety and acceptability of the fortified foods in order to ensure that they fulfil the nutritional needs as well as the sensory expectations of older consumers.

This work received funding from ANR (ANR-20-HDHL-0003 FORTIPHY), Research Council Norway (RCN 321819), BBSRC (BB/V018329/1) under the umbrella of the European Joint Programming Initiative "A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life" (JPI HDHL) and the ERA-NET Cofund ERA-HDHL (GA N°696295 of the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme).

Prof Lisa Methven, Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Reading, UK

Lisa Methven is a Professor of Food and Sensory Science at the University of Reading, UK. Her research focuses on the association between sensory perception of foods and liking, food choice, appetite and dietary intake. Lisa's research group pursue three main research themes. Firstly, the influence of genotypical and phenotypical differences in taste perception and their impact on dietary choice. Secondly, in the arena of product reformulation, her research focuses on understanding and modifying the perception and acceptability of foods designed to improve health. Finally, Lisa's group aim to understand the influence of sensory perception on food choice across the lifespan, from understanding perception in children, to improving the palatability of foods designed to meet the nutritional needs of older people.

Dr Claire Sulmont-Rossé, Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l’Alimentation, CNRS, INRAE, Institut Agro, Université de Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Dijon, France

Dr Claire Sulmont-Rossé is a senior scientist at the 'Center for Taste and Feeding Behaviour' from INRAE (Dijon, France). After working for several years on the cognitive processes that underlie food preferences and dietary intake, she has initiated research on the relationship between food behaviour and health status in older adults. Her research focuses on a better understanding of the factors liable to alter food intake in aged people, as well as on the development of interventions combining nutrition and eating pleasure to tackle malnutrition in this population. She is currently coordinating the EU project FORTIPHY.


Understanding better sensory alterations to provide tailored food solutions for cancer patients

Abstract: Chemotherapy treatments can induce various undesirable effects, including sensory disturbances leading to a change in food preferences that can result in a significant reduction in the pleasure of eating and food intake. The aim of the presented work conducted as part of the PhD thesis of Kenza Drareni is to explore the effect of chemotherapy during cancer on the olfactory and gustatory abilities of patients and the consequences that this may have on their eating behaviour. The first part of this work focuses on understanding the variability of sensory changes and their consequences on patients' eating behaviour. Our results highlighted three main sensory profiles: patients with no sensory impairment, patients with hyposensitivity, and patients with hypersensitivity to olfactory/gustatory stimuli. Patients with impaired olfactory/gustatory abilities also expressed changes in their food behaviour. The classification of patients based on their self-reported sensory abilities highlighted the negative impact of hyposensitivity on food taste perception. The classification based on a psychophysical assessment of olfactory abilities showed a change in consumption habits in patients with hyposmia. Both approaches found a general downward trend in perceptual abilities of cancer patients treated with chemotherapy. In the second part of this work, we examined the effect of food sensory enhancement as a coping strategy to sensory alterations. The results suggest that taste or aroma enhancement increases food liking in patients with decreased olfactory/ taste sensitivity and patients who did not report taste and smell deficits, but it has no effect on the hedonic rating of food in the group of control subjects. This work highlights the inter-individual diversity existing between patients and confirms the involvement of olfactory/taste alterations in patients' food behaviour modification. Our results stress the importance of personalized nutritional management of patients considering their sensory alteration profile.

Dr Anestis Dougkas, Institute Paul Bocuse Research Centre, Lyon, France

Dr Dougkas graduated from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, with a four-year B.Sc. degree in chemistry with a specialization in biochemistry and food chemistry. He continued his studies and received an M.Sc. in food science and nutrition and a PhD in nutrition within the Nutritional Research Group at the University of Reading, UK. His PhD work focused on the associations between consumption of dairy products and the risk of obesity. In 2011, he got a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at Food for Health Science Centre, Lund University, Sweden. Since September 2016, he has been a Research Group Leader in Nutrition and Eating behaviour at the Institute Paul Bocuse Research Centre, Lyon, France. His research interests are within the area of hedonic and homeostatic processes of appetite and energy intake regulation, looking at a nutrient level, eating patterns and sustainable diets. Further interests include examining the role of sensory and nutrition profiles on food appreciation, food preferences and alterations in cancer and bariatric surgery patients considering the interindividual differences and context of eating. He is a member of the Nutrition Society, American Society for Nutrition and the Association for the Study of Obesity and an alumni of the European Nutrition Leadership Platform.


Oncofood project: new food solutions for cancer patients

Abstract: One of the main challenges for cancer patients undergoing treatment in preventing or mitigating malnutrition. It is known that close to 70% of patients undergoing treatments experience side effects (taste loss, bad taste in mouth, metallic taste, saliva absence, vomiting, loss of appetite) that may have a large impact on their daily food intake. The current clinical nutrition market offers different oral nutritional support products. However, they do not address the pleasure of eating nor patients' food preferences. The aim of the Oncofood project was to design and develop new innovative food solutions addressed to cancer patients considering not only their nutritional requirements but also their sensory alterations, promoting the pleasure of eating and preventing malnutrition. A range of soup and mousses in pouch packs were developed for patients with taste and smell alterations while a number of 3D printed meals were created for patients experiencing swallowing difficulties. Products were evaluated by patients across three countries (Spain, Poland and UK) with results showing that the mousses were the most preferred product in all countries. Overall, participants preferred the 3D printed meals to normal puree and considered them safe and natural. However, they were unsure how useful a 3D food printer would be for home use.

This project received funding from EIT Food (innovation project - grant agreement number: 20139).

Dr Stella Lignou, Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Reading, UK

Stella Lignou is an Associate Professor in Sensory and Consumer Science at the University of Reading, UK. Her research sits at the cross-section of flavour and sensory analysis. She used a number of analytical techniques to characterize the quality of the products. She trained consumer panels in order to understand how the sensorial properties of the foods are perceived by humans. Her main topics of focus are (i) flavour profile of fresh produce and other products, (ii) sensory profile of various sources of alternative proteins, (iii) consumers' responses to sustainable packaging and innovative technologies such as 3D food printing and (iv) development of products for targeted groups of people (i.e. older adults, cancer patients). She is a member.


Quorn™ Mycoprotein: A protein 'powerhouse' for better health and environment

Abstract: Quorn has been pioneering fungal fermentation for meat analogue applications leaning on over 40 years of research history to discover mycoprotein's unique functionalities and superior protein quality. This presentation aims to briefly outline the history of Quorn's end-to-end processing layout and to disseminate the research findings in the realms of health and wellness. Successes and challenges will also be shared to spark an open discussion and potential collaboration in joining Quorn's mission to tackle global challenges in food sustainability.

Dr Linda PravinataQuorn Foods

Linda Pravinata recently joined Quorn Foods in 2021 as Lead Innovation Scientist with research interests in texture development of meat analogue derived from filamentous fungal biomass. Prior to Quorn, Linda had international career trajectories spanned from academia to industries as a Scientist at PepsiCo and Nestle R&D in the US and teaching roles at universities in Indonesia and UK. While teaching at the University of Leeds in the School of Food Science and Nutrition, Linda also held an international fellowship (2018-2021) by the Royal Academy of Engineering for Newton Fund project in collaboration with rice farmers in Thailand and academics Mahasarakham University. She was also a Michael Beverley Innovation Fellow awarded in 2020 for innovation in the development of value-added materials derived from tempeh production. 


Dr Charlotte Mills, Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Reading, UK

Charlotte is Hugh Sinclair Lecturer in Human Nutrition at the University of Reading, UK. Her research applies clinical and basic/analytical science to investigate the impact of plant bioactives, nutrients, foods and diets on cardiometabolic health and the mechanisms underpinning these effects. She is specifically interested in methods for maximising beneficial health effects e.g. through food processing and synergy, as well as the relationship between the gut microbiota and cardiovascular parameters.

Charlotte has been heavily involved in the University of Reading’s membership in the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative, a research network linked to the Menus of Change initiative that champions delicious, healthy, sustainable menus in catering outlets.

Delivering healthy, sustainable, delicious food on campus: Integrating academic research into operational activity.

Abstract: Menus of Change is an initiative instigated by The Culinary Institute of America and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to integrate nutrition and public health, environmental stewardship and restoration, and social responsibility within the foodservice and beyond. This is done by working with catering outlets to develop healthy, sustainable and delicious food. The Menu’s of Change University Research Collaborative is a linked network of universities lead by The Culinary Institution of America and Stanford University, who perform research linked to the Menus of Change principles. The University of Reading are the first university in Europe to become full members of both the Menus of Change and the associated University Research Collaborative. This talk with showcase some of the work the University has been doing to align the campus food with the Menus of Change principles and will present associated research that is being.


Matt Tebbit, Head of Bars and Dining, University of Reading, UK

Matt has spearheaded the focus at Reading on employing professional chefs that cook amazing food from scratch each with an emphasis on human and planetary health using Menus of Change as the guiding principles and with an emphasis on cross-institutional working for both learning and research, such as the current Menus of Change Universities Research Collaborative (MCURC) Climate Labelling Study, run by both operational and academic staff. The focus on collaborating with academic colleagues led to Reading becoming the first UK University to join MCURC and Radio 4’s Food Programme declaring ‘Remarkable Kitchens at a Remarkable University’. Matt currently chairs The Universities Caterers’ Organisation (TUCO) Sustainability Group, leading the adoption of Menus of Change across UK Higher Education and sits on the NACUFS Membership Committee.


Olfactory dysfunction post-COVID-19 – and how to measure it

Abstract: Olfactory disorders are fairly common, occurring in up to 20% of the general and until recently, were often unrecognised and under-researched. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly raised general awareness and moved olfactory dysfunction up the research agenda. Sudden onset of anosmia occurs in up to half of all cases of COVID-19 (dependent on variant) of which about 20% of cases may go on to experience long term olfactory dysfunction. Recovery from long term smell loss often begins with parosmia, a condition where smells become distorted and objectionable, with those severely affected rejecting food, losing weight, leading to clinical depression. Such changes in a significant proportion of the population can have an impact on the performance of sensory and consumer panels, particularly as recent research has demonstrated that self-reporting of olfactory function is unreliable. In the lecture, we will focus on recent research on the characterisation and mechanisms of olfactory disorders, and touch on their impact on quality of life. In the workshop, you will be able to try out different tests of olfactory function (Sniffin’ sticks, UPSIT, SNOT-22) and discuss their individual merits.

Dr Jane ParkerDepartment of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Reading, UK

Dr Jane is a chemist who became fascinated with flavour – why and how do things smell? Originally a physical-organic chemist who has worked in both the chemical and the flavour industries, she moved to the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Reading where she is Associate Professor in Flavour Chemistry. She founded the Flavour Centre (the University’s interface between flavour research and the food industry) and is currently lead for the department’s Food Research Group. Her expertise is in flavour analysis, GC-Olfactometry, flavour formation pathways and flavour interactions, however, over the past 3 years, she has developed an interest in olfactory disorders, particularly parosmia, which have come to the fore during the Covid-19 pandemic. 


Creating Delicious Plant-Based Products – The Sensory Perspective

Abstract: The recent exponential increase in interest in vegan food is not only due to the rise in people following a vegan diet but also in those increasing the amount of plant-based food in their diet. This means there is a unique opportunity in a rapidly expanding market, but food manufacturers need to be aware of who they are designing and developing products for. There may be a difference in desired product attributes between consumers switching between animal-based products and their plant-based alternatives and those who have given up eating animal-derived products many years ago.

As Sensory and Consumer Scientists, we should also be aware that this may affect the test objectives and setup. As ever, it's important to keep in mind the objectives of the evaluation and design the test accordingly. For example, does the product need to be assessed hot or cold? Does the appearance have an impact? And should it be evaluated alone or with typical accompaniments? The impact of different aspects, including formulation, of both dairy and meat alternatives will be discussed.

Kate Bailey, Principal Sensory & Consumer Scientist, Kerry

Kate leads sensory and consumer testing on savoury projects for Kerry Europe and Russia, as well as being the SME for consumer research and insights. She designs and executes tests that help translate the consumer taste experience into data that can be used to guide product development, improvement, or launch. Kate is developing a structured, long term approach to best-in-class consumer testing within Kerry. She is passionate about reinforcing a sensory culture within the business, so when not working on a project, she conducts training on disciplined tasting practices, as well as liaising with the global Kerry Sensory community. Her favourite part of her role is analyzing data and providing insights that enable products to not only meet internal and customer requirements but, most importantly, exceed the end consumer's expectations. In her spare time, she leads the IFST SSG Communications Group. She looks after the Sustainability Champions Europe – a Kerry based group encouraging people to be more sustainable at work, at home and anywhere!



IFST-E3S Guidelines for abstract preparation and submission.pptx