Physical and sensory properties of food and consumer science
Our group studies the physical and sensory properties of foods to find out how they are related to quality, perceptions and acceptability to consumers.
We try to develop new formulations through an understanding of the contribution that each ingredient/component makes to the food's rheological, thermal and mechanical properties and the relations between these and its structure. We investigate the technological functionality of ingredients, the changes that take place during different types of processing and storage, and their relation to sensory properties.
We study the means to create, modify and improve the physical properties of formulated foods to adapt them to different needs.
We research consumer expectations and perceptions before and during food consumption, examining the effects of both sensory and non-sensory contextual properties (packaging, claims, nutritional information, etc.) and their relations to choice and acceptability.
- Investigating the rheological properties of foods under high and low deformation in order to discover the structure of the food and its potential repercussions on its quality.
- Researching thermal transitions in food components and their effects on the development of the food's structure and final food quality.
- Studying the textural characteristics of foods and their relation to food structure .
- Assessing and developing new sensory methods with trained and untrained panels of consumers.
- Developing targeted formulations through the knowledge of the technological functionality of foods and the interactions between ingredients. Studying the technological functionality of new ingredients, how they change when subjected to different processes and storage and their relation to sensory quality.
- Finding the parameters defining the mechanical behaviour of food, not only those related to sensory texture perception but also the ones that define its behaviour during handling and packaging and how it behaves during processing. Analyzing the changes over the storage time and their relation to sensory shelf life.