FOOD SENSORY SCIENCE
COURSE GOALS: The course goal is to give students an insight into the sensory testing of foods by providing an understanding of the senses and information processing in the brain. Using this understanding students will evaluate and design appropriate methods for the sensory testing of foods. At the end of the course, students should be acting like scientists and be able to custom build methods designed specifically for each product, depending on how that product affects the sensory system.
PREREQUISITES: STA 100 OR FST 117, may be taken concurrently
- Taste profiling.
- Function of the senses in relation to foods
- Information processing in the brain with respect to perception of foods
- Sensory attributes of foods and beverages and their perceptions
- Goals of behavioral measurement
- Discrimination testing of foods
- New theoretical approaches to discrimination
- Preference and acceptance testing of foods
- Theoretical frequencies
- Methods of intensity and hedonic scaling for foods
- Laws of Psychophysics
- Description of sensations elicited by food
- Descriptive analysis
GRADING PERCENTAGES AND COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week, supported by as many office and tutorial hours as is necessary (generally 2-4 hours). Grades based on midterm (20%), weekly lab reports and problem sets (50%) and a final exam (30%). The testing does not involve rote learning exercises; instead students are required to use their knowledge to solve problems, interpret data and detect flaws in badly designed sensory measurements.
EXPLANATION OF POTENTIAL COURSE OVERLAP: There is minimal overlap with Food Science and Technology 127. The overlap gives a brief introduction to some topics which will be treated in detail in FST 127. There is no course overlap with NPB 100, 101, or 121. This course concentrates on methods and theory of food and personal product testing. There is minimum overlap with any course given in the psychology department. The course is devoted to methods for measuring the sensory characteristics of food. It involves the use of behavioral measurement but the focus is on measurement of taste, texture, smell and irritants.