The project is divided into several subsidiary objectives:
1. Build up a theoretical framework and understand the mechanism behind the development of what the consumer likes and dislikes in different situations and life phases.
2. Investigate how health components in food affect sensory properties, as well as identifying the consumer's perceptions of and attitudes to such health components.
3. Develop rapid and appropriate measuring methods for sensory quality that contribute to simplifying and understanding sensory data and the capabilities of the sensory panel.
4. Develop statistical techniques and models that validate, explain and predict the relationship between product characteristics and the consumer's perceptions and attitudes.
The project has an inter-disciplinary approach so as to be able to meet the challenges inherent in connecting the research of such different scientific areas. Food technology, statistics, nutrition, epidemiology and market analysis are all areas included in this project. The research is also being carried out in close collaboration with other research projects at Nofima Mat, with industry partners and through Norwegian, Nordic and other international research projects.
The project is involved in several EU projects
Some examples of activities in different EU-projects are: In the EU project Truefood, focus groups, association tests, grouping tests and dual sorting tests are used to compare methods that can identify and define what consumers perceive as elements of traditional products and what kind of innovations can be made without these associations of tradition disappearing.
Cross-cultural surveys have been carried out in the EU Safefoods project, to determine risk communication and risk understanding among consumers in connection with food crises.
In collaboration with the EU DioGenes project, meat products have been developed and tested with the aim of creating good products that give a lasting feeling of fullness. As part of the EU LowJuice project, sugar/acid combinations in juice have been tested, as well as sensory descriptions and consumer acceptance, with the aim of producing healthier juice. For the EU BarleyBread project, we have investigated perceptions of what characterises food that is thought to be healthy.