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Food sensory research presented at leading industry conference

Posted 6 October

Lingzhi mushrooms on a log and prepared for use

Food sensory research conducted by Harper Adams University alongside both the University’s students and with international partners has been presented at a leading industry conference.

The research was presented at the 10th European Conference on Sensory and Consumer Research (EUROSENSE) in Turku, Finland by Senior Lecturer in Food Science and Sensory Evaluation Dr Wilatsana Posri.

The theme for this year’s conference was Sensory and Consumer Science for Sustainability and Biodiversity, and the event drew sensory and consumer researchers from across the globe.

Speaking about the work she discussed at the event, Dr Posri said: “I presented two pieces of research conducted at Harper Adams during the conference.

“The first is entitled Exploring synergies between health attributes, carbon footprint and sensorial quality – the case of Lingzhi mushroom products.

“This research was conducted in collaboration between Harper Adams – with my colleague Eric Siqueiros and I working alongside researchers from Chiang Mai University, Thailand - Niramon Utama-Ang and Threethip Chuensun.

“Threethip is a PhD student from Faculty of Agro-Industry at Chiang Mai, whose thesis is focused on sensorial properties of new product development from Lingzhi Mushroom.”

Lingzhi mushrooms are often used in traditional Chinese medicine, and have been commercially cultivated and processed since the 1970s.

As part of the work developing the project, academics from Chiang Mai visited the high-standard facilities at the Harper Adams Food Academy to carry out both research work and consumer tests in the first six months of this year.

The second piece of work – Functional food – what does it mean to young buyers? - also involved Chiang Mai researchers, this time working alongside two final year students on Harper Adams Food courses, Jamilla Dent and Madelaine Brant.

The two students worked alongside Chiang Mai academic Threethip Chuensun to develop the   research, with both devoting their Honours Research Projects to its development.

Dr Posri added: “This research project was funded by internal quality related funding at Harper Adams, with my supervision.

“It captured immune boosting trends in the UK market and looked into consumer perceptions and decisions made based on nutrition and health claims.

“We see that consumers are ambiguous on what ‘sustainable health’ means in the context of intrinsic food properties. It is our job to test and introduce the triggers which strongly associate to what in the food they value.”

Discussing the facilities at Harper Adams which were used in some of the research, Dr Posri added:

“The Food, Land and Agribusiness Management department at Harper Adams offers a high standard sensory lab equipped with consumer-sensory panel test software such as Compusense Five and RedJade, as well as for food product test at home or remote testing using Compusense Cloud (Compsense20).

“We also provide food formulating and labelling software NutriCalC for studying and researching and have expertise in Sensory Evaluation, hands-on New Product Development, Consumer insights research and Consumer Communication.”

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