E3S Early Stage Researcher Group Webinar

The E3S (European Sensory Science Society) Student & Early Stage Researcher Group (E3S-SERG) helps students and young professionals from across Europe to network and have a voice in the wider professional sensory community. In January 2019, the E3S-SERG members in France organised a webinar open to any E3S member. This was the first instalment with the aim to do future webinars, with a different country represented in the E3S-SERG taking turns in the organisation.

The webinar consisted of three short presentations given by students/young professionals. This was followed by a question and answer session. Here is a brief summary/reaction to each of the presentations:

Analyzing Free JAR data with opinion mining strategies (Alexiane Luc, Graduate engineer, Agrocampus Ouest and Strategir)

This presentation explained how concepts and categories from a classic just about right approach can be used as a framework for consumers to explain why they like (or don’t like) a product using their own attributes. This is followed by sentiment analysis quantifying the emotional tone associated with these sentences. Merging information together creates an output called “Sentiment Mapping” (similar to a response map or preference map) which can help to highlight key product improvement points. This technique seems to be an innovative way of building on an existing methodology; making it more intuitive for consumers to engage with as well as leveraging newer statistical and data science techniques.

An efficient sensory method for understanding the perceptions of pea protein isolates in relation with their chemical composition (Audrey Cosson, PhD student, AgroParisTech and Roquette Frères)

This was an insight into an interesting approach using sensory profiling to investigate which constituents in a material may be linked to which sensory properties. The method was focused within a pre-consumer analytical development phase of the ingredient. A blocked design and palate cleansers were used to increase reliability of measurements of materials with complex and persistent sensory characteristics. Descriptive quantitative profile data obtained in this way was correlated to physico-chemical characterisation to explore the origin of sensory notes.

Melting pot of work experiences in sensory & consumer insight (Léonor Bonnafous, early stage researcher)

A public transportation route map graphic was used to illustrate and navigate how a sensory and consumer professional’s career had developed. Different lines led to new stops and a range of activities and outputs. Personal qualities, competencies and ways of working that were developed/used along the way include listening and adapting, gaining trust, being confident and convincing, and learning to motivate and bring stakeholders together. This is an entertaining and informative way to present a CV and to be more aware of where one has come from and where one might like to go!

The question and answer session was a great way to sum up the event, with a diverse range of queries relating to method and statistical techniques as well as a discussion about what the future for early stage researchers might bring.

Overall this webinar was a success due to an enthusiastic team and very interesting and informative presentations. The format is a good way to bring together a remote group and share knowledge.  The careful facilitation and planning ensured everything ran to plan. I look forward to the next E3S-SERG webinar!

Carol Raithatha, Carol Raithatha Limited

Committee member, Institute of Food Science and Technology Sensory Science Group (UK)