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
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
- 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)
|23 September||IFST Workshop: Bringing Agility to Sensory and Consumer Research||Online|
|18 November||IFST Webinar: Using genetics to understand the factors influencing food liking and their role in food choices||Online|
IFST Sensory Science Group Webinar: Text-analytics tasting: The secret ingredient or not yet ripe
|24 June||IFST Sensory Science Group Webinar: The tactile side of food|
|20 May||IFST Sensory Science Group Webinar: Olfaction in the time of Covid-19|
|12 December||Noel, Narrative and Numbers|
|28 July- 1 August||A day in the life of a Pangborn Ambassador|
|7 March||Changing Perspectives in Sensory Science - Past, Present and Future|
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.
Sensory science for students
The Sensory Science Student Group was formed in 2013.
|28 July- 1 August||
IFST Sensory Science Group (SSG) are co-sponsoring the ‘Sensing Future Packaging Workshop’ at the 13th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium (Engage with the Future) - 28 July to 1 August 2019, Edinburgh
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Is new and has been undertaken in the last 12 months which delivers measurable impact to any/any/all IFSTs strategic priorities, or
- 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
- Is scalable and sustainable.
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
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.
Log on to our communication platform for all IFST members, IFST Community. This 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.