Understanding the food we eat and the impact it can have on our health is at the core of Food and Nutrition Science. Taste and flavour are consistently rated as the greatest influence on food choices, impacting what, and how much of, that food we will consume.
In this micro-credential, you will learn all about the science that underpins our understanding of flavour and taste perception in food, and many of the different techniques available for the different types of research questions in this area. These methods can be applied to a huge variety of situations such as in reformulation to reduce sugar and salt while maintaining sensory appeal, to assess the popularity and customer taste satisfaction of a new food product, or even to develop strategies for increasing the palatability of food, for example, to enhance vegetable consumption in children or improve consumer perception of hybrid meat.
This micro-credential is designed to give you the essential tools to understand and use the key principles of sensory science in food-related research. It will focus on techniques used in industrial sensory evaluation. In particular, sensory principles will include aspects of panellists, both trained and naive; requirements of test area equipment and facilities; analytical and subjective tests including difference testing, methods for consumer testing and statistical approaches.
The content will comply with ISO standards for sensory testing, accessed via The National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) Database.
Who should apply?
This micro-credential is relevant to professionals who are currently working in the food and beverage industry, start-ups and SME’s who would like to run in-house sensory evaluations, anyone involved with new product development or reformulation projects, technical and quality assurance staff, food technologists, those working in product development, researchers, sales and marketing staff, and health professionals seeking to understand the role of sensory science in consumer behaviour and food intervention strategies.
On completion of this micro-credential, you will be able to:
● Describe the human sensory systems and understand how we perceive stimuli in our environment, and how this is related to our interaction with, and enjoyment of food.
● Know the ways in which we can measure individual differences in taste, smell and flavour.
● Understand the underlying theory of detection and recognition thresholds.
● Understand the difference between consumer (liking/ hedonic) and difference tests, and be able to choose the appropriate one for a given situation.
● Know some of the key methodologies in sensory science and when to use them.
● Know where to find information on standard sensory methodology (ISO standards).
● Apply your knowledge to answer key questions in sensory and consumer science.
Applicants are required to hold an NFQ level 8 Honours degree (minimum 2nd Class Honours Lower) or equivalent.
Applicants who do not meet this requirement may be admitted on the basis of considerable relevant experience.
Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate proof of English proficiency as per UCD's minimum English language requirements.
All applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis.
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