Sensory Science, Health and Nutrition

It’s hard to believe that Pangborn Conference has come and gone once again. The conference is always an intriguing bellwether in the state of our discipline. We look forward to it for so long and it vanishes far too quickly. Reflecting on the camaraderie of our discipline and the friendliness of our peers, some recurring themes occur. One of the recurring themes is the role that Sensory Science plays in the realm of Health and Nutrition.

The Rise of Sensory Data in Health & Wellness

One thing that continues to impress me about my peers is their ability to use the techniques and skills we have at our disposal and apply them to the major challenges of the day. Undoubtedly, health and wellness, specifically healthy eating is a recurring theme in our society. It is fascinating to see sensory data finding its way into the health and wellness space. Our industry is at the forefront of understanding the physiological perception of taste and smell and its association with health issues such as obesity, depression and life style choices. This is becoming an active area of research. Further, scientists have started to look at an individual’s sensitivity to various tastants and where it is perceived in the mouth vs. dietary behaviors to see if there is a correlation to health issues (i.e. diabetes, obesity). While the research is in its infancy, I’m confident that more concrete evidence should be forthcoming. I can’t wait to see how this research evolves.

Pangborn 2018 and Health & Nutrition

As we turn the page with anticipation to Pangborn 2018 and our rendezvous in Edinburgh, it goes without saying that our society will put more pressure on the quality of the food that we eat. This theme has been gaining momentum for a long time and it does not appear to be slowing.