IFST's Sensory Science Group - It's not always just about the Flavour!

The IFST Sensory Science Group held its annual conference on May 22 at the Nottingham University Jubilee campus. This event was well attended – there were over 70 delegates coming from a good mix of academia, industry, and consulting. 

The event comprised presentations and workshops, with each speaker focusing on a different sensory modality (appearance, odour, texture, mouthfeel, sound, aftertaste) or giving a unique take on flavour and its origins and its importance in the context of the other modalities. The delegates heard from sensory scientists, product developers, flavour chemists, sound engineers, and an ectopic philosopher as well!

Some of the highlights of the day were:

  • Hearing about the Goldilocks principle in the context of Flavour from Professor Andy Taylor, Mars Petcare.  How can flavour be designed to be ‘just right’!
  • Learning about the complexities of valid Sound recording to be used for later sensory testing.  This was part of an enlightening talk on sensory evaluation of product sound by Torben Pedersen from DELTA Senselab
  • Exploring the process of taint investigation through some fun activities with the team from Odournet
  • Learning about Texture and Mouthfeel, its importance to our appreciation of food and the challenges of measuring it reliably and validly from two perspectives – from Saskia Hoffman, PhD student at Nottingham University and Kelly Fourtouni, a Principal Scientist at Mondelez International
  • Testing out the many questions posed by Appearance evaluation in a fun workshop organised from the team at Mars
  • Learning about methods for Aftertaste evaluation and the importance of aftertaste including finish in wine from Professor Carolyn Ross from Washington State University
  • Pondering over the views of maximalists verses minimalists when it comes to definitions of Flavour with Professor Barry Smith from the Institute of Philosophy at the University of London

There was an international feel to the conference with many delegates and poster presenters from Europe and further afield.

Taking all senses into account, it was a very flavourful day and enjoyed by all.  The SSG thank all the speakers and everyone who attended.  Hope to see you next year.