content tagged as Sensory Science

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An important aspect to many food and non-food products is aftertaste or after-feel, the lingering sensory sensations perceived after the product is swallowed, expectorated, applied, or used. Over the past several years, this important area of sensory science has received more attention in the scientific literature, as well as by those in product development, as professionals are appreciating its relevance and influence on consumer acceptance and product usage. In addition, several scientific studies have sought to understand the influence of product composition on the perception of aftertaste, a topic that is of interest to product developers. Even though this topic has great industry application, a session at IFT has not been organized around sensory aftertaste/feel for a number of years.

Thus, the overall objective of this session is to educate attendees on the importance of aftertaste/feel and the sensory considerations associated with measuring this perception. Our moderator, Dr. Stella Salisu, will introduce the area of aftertaste/afterfeel and present the three speakers in the session. Our first speaker, Dr. Zata Vickers, will introduce the fundamentals surrounding aftertaste/afterfeel, including its perception and importance in consumer product choice and acceptance. She will also describe methodological considerations when measuring aftertaste/feel, including minimizing carryover between samples. The next speaker, Dr. Carolyn Ross, will talk about the application of research methods for the study of aftertaste in various foods and beverages. Using a wide variety of specific examples including wine, seafood, and gum, she will describe specific studies, including methodologies used to measure aftertaste in different systems and the importance of aftertaste in the acceptance of these different products. She will also present how changing the composition of the food can influence aftertaste perception. Our last speaker will be Ms. Lee Stapleton. Using several examples in the area of personal-care products and her extensive experience in this area, Ms. Stapleton will present the area of afterfeel, including the development of appropriate sensory terms to describe these sensations and the consumer reaction to different aspects of afterfeel. After our last speaker, Dr. Salisu, our moderator, will summarize the session and open up the microphones for questions.
Discrimination testing continues to be an important method for decision-making within the industry. Many companies have a historical basis upon which to guide product development and maintenance using discrimination test methods. As shown by a recent survey of the sensory and consumer research community at large, many have strong interests in gathering and establishing expertise and capabilities for discrimination research including understanding which methods are best for their business/situation, managing risk when designing discrimination tests, practical design aspects, the how’s and why’s of detection theory, Thurstonian models and d-prime, how to compare different methods, how different products or categories impact discrimination test design, and more. Researchers now have many discrimination tools available to help guide decision-making for their organizations and want current insights and strategies on how best to apply the methods available.

This session will provide a review of the basic fundamentals of discrimination testing, cover advanced methods and models, and will also include new, evolving discrimination methods for users to consider.
Sugar reduction is a global trend, and several countries are not only educating consumers about their sugar consumption patterns but also responding with regulations on sugar in foods. In 2016, the United States of America’s added-sugars section on the Nutrition Facts label, the United Kingdom’s soft-drinks industry levy, and South Africa’s proposal for the taxation of sugar-sweetened beverages are a few examples of such responses. Partial or complete replacement of nutritive sweeteners from food and beverages is a need of the hour; this cannot be realized without understanding the major functionality of these ingredients – sweet taste. Learning the mechanisms behind ingredients’ unique capability of eliciting sweet taste can open new avenues in innovation, help researchers identify alternatives, and achieve sugar reduction.

Chemosensory research is advancing with each decade and sweet tasting compounds are constantly subjected to investigation. The transduction of seet taste through T1R2 and T1R3 receptors is well known and the possible secondary metabolic pathway is recently published. The understanding of these taste mechanisms has paved a new way for innovation. New sweetener boosters are identified and allosteric effect between boosters and sweet taste receptors is confirmed. Taking a cue from olfaction influence of volatiles on taste, the research has also progressed into establishing the role of several aromatic volatile compounds in sweetness enhancement. These technologies are constantly evolving, and helping food and beverage formulators move towards sugar reduction targets. This session will focus on the introduction to sweet tasting mechanisms, contribution of aromatic volatiles to sweetness, and achieving sugar reduction using these tools.
Today, consumers are now paying more attention to labels than ever. Health-conscious consumers are looking for fewer calories and simple ingredient labels. One way of meeting these new consumer needs is through reducing sugar content while maintaining a similar sweet taste perception through the use of simple, natural, and non-nutritive sweeteners.

Sugar contributes not only to sweet taste but also to the flavor and texture of foods. Successful sugar reduction depends on a keen understanding of sensory perception of sweeteners and impact they have on food formulations.

This session will provide an overview of sensory techniques used to understand the fundamentals of sweet taste perception. These sensory techniques will be used to investigate the sweet taste perception of sweeteners, both individually and in blends. In addition, attendees will gain insight on how other sensory modalities (touch, sight, sound, and smell) of a food system can be used to achieve a sucrose-like sweet taste perception.

Because sweet taste perception cannot be uncoupled from the consumer experience, this session will also explore the symphonies and dissonances of what consumers see on the label and what they experience in the mouth and ultimately what they desire.
As food industry professionals, we have immense stake in shaping scientific decisions and championing science-based innovation. Newer technologies, newer ingredients or newer products often rely on scientific or engineering breakthroughs to come to fruition. At a time, when resources are limited and speed to market has to be balanced with scientific rigor, success of R&D organizations increasingly rests on making the right strategic bets as well as taking calculated entrepreneurial risks. How such decisions take shape in organizations big and small and public and private, is the main focus of this symposium. Technical leaders from diverse R&D organizations, such as CPG companies, ingredient houses, small-entrepreneurial companies, consultants, and government organizations will share their perspectives on setting strategic scientific direction. In addition, discussion will delve into the role of scientific community in driving strategy, scientific-enablers of innovation, implications of fast changing consumer behavior, harnessing supplier-manufacturer partnerships, and leveraging adjacent scientific disciplines.
This session will use a roundtable discussion format to (1) cover the foundational knowledge required in undergraduate sensory science curriculum, (2) uncover the professional skills needed as a sensory professional in the real world, and (3) discover the innovative visualization techniques to present sensory data. Each topic will begin with a short 10-m presentation by our three presenters, followed by a 15-m facilitated focus group discussion session where we will generate more ideas in each of the three areas. All the ideas collected from the discussion session will be written up to be submitted for a publication in the Journal of Food Science and Education.
Beverage mouthfeel is a key driver for consumer acceptance and therefore of vital importance for food and beverage manufacturers. Mouthfeel refers to the oral-tactile qualities perceived in the mouth, including, but not limited to, astringency, viscosity, slipperiness, and mouth-coating. Mouthfeel depends in large part on physical properties of foods and beverages, e.g., temperature, pH, carbonation viscosity, etc. Chemical stimuli, including tastes and odors, can also modulate the perception of mouthfeel. Mouthfeel has links to both orthonasal and retronasal olfaction. Positive aspects of mouthfeel include indulgence or creaminess, while astringency often has a negative association. Beverage mouthfeel is highly dependent on the composition of the food matrix. The rise of reduced calorie foods has required solutions to counteract the reduction in fat, sugar or salt. Texturizers can provide body or fullness to reduced calorie products. Flavor modifiers contain flavor chemicals such as fatty acids, aldehydes, lactones, ketones, and alcohols that can provide fatty, creamy, and fuller taste. Different emulsifiers and sweeteners can also alter the mouthfeel of a beverage.

Perception of a beverage is a dynamic process starting from smell before intake, first sip, consecutive swallows and residual oral coating. Flavor release, in-mouth viscosity, and lubrication of the oral surfaces will follow this cascade of events. Understanding the determinants in this process enables development of beverages with optimized mouthfeel, e.g. reduced calorie or premium products. In this symposium, we will present in-vivo data to show how the tongue moves relative to the palate while a subject is drinking a beverage. In addition, instrumental analytical data demonstrating how these adapted movements are subsequently mimicked in a tribometer to measure lubrication between tongue-palate relevant replicate surfaces will be presented. There will be a discussion on a new optimized instrumental methodology for beverages with fat mimetics. The underlying mechanisms will be discussed and related to dynamic sensory perception.

This session will bring together a cross section of experts from research institutions, and industry to address the fields of formulation, sensory and ingredient science; focus will be on the following areas: (1) chemosensory contributions to mouthfeel, (2) impact of ingredients such as sweeteners, texturizers, and emulsifiers on mouthfeel, (3) impact of flavor modifiers on mouthfeel, and (4) lubrication and in-mouth viscosity as determinants for mouthfeel.
Databases and peer-reviewed articles on sensory and consumer research are full of a lot of significant academic- and business-centric studies that discuss the “right sample size” for any given project. The choice of sample size has huge implications for all aspects of product development since it can impact the overall cost of a project, how expensive the product development time and energy might be, and therefore, whether a given approach will be commissioned or not. The goal of this curated symposium is to present IFT members with a dialog between industry professionals on the real truths and myths behind practices that are thought to be commonly agreed-upon approaches. When planning a product or consumer study, deciding on the number of people (whether panelists or consumers) seems arbitrary, but the truth (or myth) of the issue is much more involved and elaborate than picking a number at random. The literature tells us that the number of people is an essential measure of the power of a research study. The Sensory and Consumer Sciences Division (SCSD) has selected a number of practicing professionals to provide understanding to both the division membership and the greater food and beverage product design and development community on the status of this area of interest.
Two pioneers in the field of food texture, Alina Szczesniak and Malcolm Bourne, have recently passed away. This symposium is meant to recognize their enormous contributions to the understanding of food texture and its importance to the food industry

Our first speaker will review the innovations of Alina Szczesniak, the Institute's first female Nicolas Appert Award winner, and the current state of sensory texture measurement.

Our second speaker will review the contributions of Malcolm Bourne and the progress that has been made in the field of instrumental measurement.

Our final speaker will discuss the business impact of texture and the claims that are being made by food producers.