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: Vacant 

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, Bola Oloyede, Carol Raithatha, Lauren Rogers, Tracey Sanderson, 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)
 

Events & Webinars

Each SIG is run by a small committee of volunteer members, who meet both face-to-face and virtually. As part of the committee, members are actively involved in organising and attending meetings in relation to setting up activities, events and webinars across the year. Open our Events page to attend our upcoming events or access the Webinar Hub to watch previous webinar recordings.

Upcoming Events  Previous Events
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 2022

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 Community

Are you interested in sensory science, and want to talk to like-minded individuals? Log on to our communication platform for all IFST members, IFST Community. This online space is open for you to interact and communicate freely and easily with other members and 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.

Join the Sensory Science Community

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 set criteria.

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

Contact us

Do you want to find out more about our Sensory Science Group? Get in touch via info@ifst.org