Course: Sensory Perception & Food Preference: The role of context

Course

Sensory Perception & Food Preference: The role of context

This course is to acquire expertise regarding the major determinants of food preferences and intake: sensory perception and the role of context; to obtain knowledge and experience in different methods on how to measure (and analyse) these aspects.

Background

Food preferences are a major determinant of food intake, and are largely driven by the sensory properties of food products. The course will focus on the role of sensory characteristics for the development and maintenance of food preferences, over the life course. However, food intake is not solely based on food preferences: we do not always eat what we like. Moreover, sensory signals do not function in isolation, but rather act within a certain context. A large part of the course will be devoted to the influence of context on sensory perception, and the role of context for consumer behaviour and choices, the various methodologies available to measures this, and implications for food industry.

Course aim

The aim of this advanced course is to acquire expertise regarding the major determinants of food preferences and intake: sensory perception and the role of context; to obtain knowledge and experience in different methods on how to measure (and analyse) these aspects.

Course design

The course will be mainly composed of lectures with ample opportunity for discussions. There will be short presentations of the research plans of the participants, a tour through the facilities of Human Nutrition and Health with respect to sensory/consumer/nutrition behaviour, as well as a workshop/demo on various methods to measure and analyse behavioural responses to food products. During the week we will move from fundamental science and experimental lab settings towards more real-life test methods and consumer insights.

Participants

The course is at graduate level and aims at food scientists, nutritionists and other sensory- or consumer behaviour-related professionals. The course may be valuable for PhD's working on a PhD related to eating or consumer behaviour, or sensory perception, and for those working in the food industry.

Programme topics

The following topics will be addressed:

  • the role of sensory perception in food preferences
  • food perception and sensory responses in the brain
  • individual variation and consumer segmentation in sensory science and eating behaviour
  • context influence on perception and eating decisions
  • different methodology of measuring food preferences, emotions, and behaviour
  • multisensory perception and experience
  • an industry perspective on the role of context for consumer science and product development
  • marketing and consumer insights on the importance of context (e.g. nudging)