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University of Pretoria hosts European and local experts in sensory science.

“It is a great opportunity for us to strengthen our contacts with European partners.” says ESN-contact person Riette Kock, senior lecturer at the University of Pretoria's Department of Food Science.

She explains: “These contacts are highly valuable for us since Europe is South Africa’s main food export market. They help us assisting South African food companies to understand the needs and demands of the European market, which is one major focus of our work.”

Members of the European Sensory Network will hold seminars, workshops and lectures for the University staff and students as well as for the local industry at the Hatfield Campus of the University from 13 to 16 April.

Some of the issues to be addressed during the four-day meeting include:

  • Sensory consumer preference
  • Sensory testing with consumers
  • Testing of products with consumers across diverse cultures and literacy levels
  • Translation of consumers’ needs and wants into concrete sensory product characteristics.
  • Sensory evaluation techniques
  • Link between marketing and research

About 25 people from about 16 European countries and several other locals are expected to attend the event which will take place in the Conference Centre. Among them are marketers, market and consumer research specialists, food scientists, sensory experts, etc.

Important aims of the European Sensory Network to be followed also in South Africa are:

  • To further the development and application of sensory science.
  • To improve sensory and consumer testing methodology for the benefit of the food and non-food industry, e.g. by ensuring rapid feedback or research results of practical relevance to the industry.
  • To promote the application of sensory analysis in the industry, e.g. by in-house training and seminars.
The focus of ESN activities is on cross-border studies. It offers numerous cross-border links between sensory scientists and industrial partners. It also provides international contacts for industry regarding sensory analysis and consumer studies. ESN members share their knowledge and expertise and work towards standard methodologies. More information on the work of the network is available on the ESN website: www.esn-network.com

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