Food sensory analysis: where taste meets innovation
The Mamy Zielone Pojęcie podcast, hosted by Jowita Chojcan, features guests Professor Edgar Chambers IV and Professor Agnieszka Kita. Professor Chambers, an alumnus and director of the Sensory Analysis Center at Kansas State University, is a notable figure in sensory food analysis and consumer research. His work encompasses a broad range of consumer and industrial goods, highlighting the practical application of sensory science in the food industry to enhance market success.
Professor Kita, leading the SEASON project funded by the Horizon Europe program, focuses on sensory evaluation of food and consumer behavior at UPWR’s Faculty of Biotechnology and Food Science. Her role at the university spans several positions, indicating her deep involvement in food and health research.
Sensory analysis in food science
The discussion centeres on the intricacies of sensory food analysis, emphasizing its importance in understanding why consumers like certain food products. This analysis involves evaluating food based on its sensory properties like flavor, texture, and appearance, which are crucial for developing and improving products. The global dietary shift and the need for adaptation to local preferences are also highlighted, showcasing the diversity in food acceptance across different cultures.
The podcast delves into the methodological aspects of sensory analysis, illustrating the distinction between analytical and consumer preference testing. Trained panelists and general consumers play distinct roles in this process, with training often focusing on recognizing and describing specific sensory attributes.
Significant topics include the challenges in industry-academia collaborations, the role of sensory analysis in product development, and the influence of sensory properties on marketing strategies. The discussion also explored the complexities of introducing novel food ingredients like insect powder into the market, considering consumer perceptions and cultural acceptability.
The SEASONED project, where Professor Chambers serves as an advisory board member, aims to enhance sensory science expertise and foster industry-academia collaboration. The project’s initiatives, like the upcoming hackathon, seek to innovate sensory science methods and strategies for product success.
The episode effectively illuminates the multifaceted nature of sensory food analysis, its critical role in the food industry, and the dynamic interplay between consumer preferences, scientific research, and market trends.