Strategic institute programme
Meals and sensory perception
The importance of knowing which sensory properties are enhanced or weakened when different products (components) are mixed in a meal will increase as more and more consumers require complete ready-made meals. Knowledge of the sensory interplay which emerges at meals and between different types of food and drink is therefore an important topic in this project.
Other factors are also important for how food is perceived and enjoyed. The project will map the effects of individual perceptions of and sensitivity for sensory properties, the effects of the consumers' expectations and previous experiences with the product, as well as the effects of external product factors. Examples of external product factors which affect our expectations and thereby our perception of products are knowledge of the origin of raw materials, production methods, environmental concerns and effects on health.
Understanding the consumer
Which factors will be most important to the consumer depends on what is important to the consumer right there and then. Good health is an aspect of great importance in today's society, and there are great challenges involved in the understanding of consumers' wishes and needs in the development of highly nutritional products. Important segments within consumer research include children, teenagers and the elderly. They have particular nutritional needs, and can also be very difficult to satisfy sensorily. The research project aims to map which products the consumers want, and which sensory properties are important in these products, as well as ensuring healthy benefits to the greatest possible extent. The programme will also focus on the development and tailoring of techniques and methods which provide greater insight into the actual attitudes and choices of the consumer. Various types of home testing of food as well as observation studies will be developed.