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Research Call

DAFM Reference

Lead(Collaborating)Institution

DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2013 13SN401 Teagasc (UCC, AFBI, UCD, DIT, UU, St Angela's, LIT, GMIT, CAFRE) €1,350,042

Project Title:

Sensory Network Ireland

Project Coordinator:

Dr Eimear Gallagher

Project Abstract

Recognising the importance of sensory science in the food industry has evolved from the increasing need for a scientifically sound and systematic approach to the sensory evaluation of foods. In the past number of years, the field has made substantial progress in developing new methods and approaches, and in advancing our understanding of consumer responses to foods. In food companies, sensory food science has become of considerable value to both tactical and strategic research goals. Currently throughout the island of Ireland, all aspects of sensory science and sensory services to industry are being addressed in research and 3rd-level organizations, albeit in a fragmented and non-uniform way. With the development of SensoryNetIreland, the sensory facilities of ten national institutions will be integrated and promoted as an advanced service to the food industry which is underpinned by a comprehensive research programme. This will be accomplished initially through collaborative networking activities to enhance the knowledge base relating to our current collective critical mass in the field. The proposed network promises enormous potential, as it combines all existing sensory services, expertise and capabilities in the country, which will work as a sustainable unit to address documented needs/gaps by the food industry in relation to sensory science. It will also ensure that good practice and the highest level of service will be assured to industry. The network will actively encourage and facilitate collaboration between industry and research groups. SensoryNetIreland will form an integral part of food and beverage industry to support new product development, product matching, flavour development and enhancing understanding of consumer behaviour within specific market segments. As well as a first class service to industry, an ultimate goal of the network is to aspire to the highest level of scientific excellence in research in sensory food science. The network is dedicated to developing and improving research into sensory and consumer testing methodologies, with the aim of launching Ireland on the international map in this field.

The objectives of the proposed research programme are;

  • To strengthen existing sensory capability within the network through research into specific sensory sciences and associated sciences; flavour chemistry and statistical sensometric expertise involving foods of particular relevance to the Irish economy.
  • UCD will lead a task investigating emerging sensory methodologies designed to achieve validated research using rapid cost effect techniques in association with Teagasc. The associated student will be registered in UCD.
  • Teagasc will lead a task with a student registered in UCC investigate the utilization of a chemometrics/sensometrics approach to relate sensory and chemical data in order to create a flavour map of a food that can be related to consumer perception.
  • AFBI will lead task in association with UCC and Teagasc, investigating consumer preference in beef using cross cultural studies in the UK and Ireland. The associated student will be registered in UCC.

Final Report:

Not available yet.