Consumer and Trained Panel Sensory Science


An appreciation of consumer’s food experiences and preferences is critical in order to develop products and concepts that succeed in the food industry. When combining consumer behaviour knowledge with sensory insights, it becomes possible to create healthy food products. Trained tasting panels are groups of consumers with higher smell-taste sensitivity. These panels are specifically formed to develop their sensorial skills in product evaluation. Consumer & Trained Panel Sensory Science is a five-credit module, that aims to develop student’s knowledge and appreciation of the role of consumer behaviour in sensory and nutrition research and using validated trained panels to establish changes within the food matrix. This module will develop in the student an understanding of the fundamental consumer behaviour influences, such as individual sensory insights, demographic and psychological processes which affect consumer decision processes. The students will be fully cognisant of the guidelines for ethical and professional practices for the sensory evaluation of foods. In addition to this, the module also facilitates the student to successfully train a sensory panel, and monitor their performance.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Critically evaluate the growing body of published nutrition research on sensory, psychological and demographic factors that determine consumer behaviour.

  2. Appraise sensory qualitative and quantitative techniques for assessing consumer acceptance.

  3. Critically examine the changing nature of consumer behaviour and sensory perception, and critically assess the implications for nutrition research.

  4. Plan and prepare all necessary research ethics documentation.

  5. Successfully design and deliver sensory training to a sensory panel.

  6. Critically assess and evaluate the effectiveness of the panel's performance.

  7. Demonstrate critical thinking, problem-solving capacity and ongoing reflective practice by training a panel.

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