FQD-37806 Food Flavour Design


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Course coordinator(s)dr. S (Sara) Martins (Unilever)
dr. T Oliviero
Lecturer(s)prof. V Fogliano
dr. S (Sara) Martins (Unilever)
dr. G (Gerhard) Krammer (Symrise)
dr. M (Marion) Doyennette (Unilever)
dr. MA Stieger
dr. K (Katharina) Reichelt (Symrise)
M Hennebelle
Examiner(s)dr. S (Sara) Martins (Unilever)
prof. V Fogliano

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

BSc level Food Technology courses, especially inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry and food chemistry


The Food Flavour Design course is a pioneering MSc course where co-ordination and lecturers will be a combined effort between Industry and University. Unilever, Symrise and Wageningen University will be working together with the aim of bringing its content to the highest level. Flavour (aroma & taste) is an important parameter in the perceived quality of a food product. At the point of consumption, it becomes a key differentiation factor that drives consumers acceptance. In the Food Flavour Design course, a holistic approach is considered through two main perspectives: 1) flavours in food (e.g., generation, application, stability, delivery systems and labelling) , and 2) flavours perception during food consumption (e.g., flavours receptors, physiological influences, oral processing and product architecture). The course supplies an understanding of flavour at the molecular level and its interaction with the food matrix. A compelling explanation will be provided on how flavour is generated during processing through the Maillard reaction and preserved during storage by means of minimising lipid oxidation. Both flavour chemistry insights and flavourist style approaches will be considered in designing food flavour strategies to be validated through experimentation, like generating your own meat flavour, preventing off-flavour generation by natural routes, and matching the cola flavour in a beverage. One of the many highlights of the course is the area on food/flavour cross modal interactions and flavour release in the mouth. Addressing one of the hottest topics in flavour today, such as why low-calorie foods do not taste as good as their full-calorie counterparts, and how product architecture can play an important role in overcoming this.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain Maillard reaction chemistry and will be able to create formulations and design processing conditions to generate flavours during food thermal treatment;
- explain how lipid oxidation affects flavours in fat-containing food matrices during storage and design strategies to delay the formation of off-flavours;
- explain and apply the chemistry of flavour compounds and their interaction with food matrices, to formulate flavour solutions and to assess those in different matrices;
- explain the impact of some single flavour molecules or a mixture on sensorial perception,
- explain principles of flavour legislation and the implication on product labelling;
- explain different flavour delivery systems, including encapsulation;
- explain how the taste receptors work, where they are located and their effect in our body (brain and gut);
- explain the effect of oral behaviour on flavour perception and the emotional reward which is created during eating;
- explain the role of product architecture on flavour perception and how taste, texture, colour, flavour can influence each other’s (cross-modal interaction), and apply this knowledge to propose strategies to improve taste perception in class of people with special needs (e.g. supertasters or non-taster, people with low chewing capabilities) or to reduce salt, sugar and fat.


During the course the students will attend lectures and work in groups (case studies, practical’s & and tutorial). Time allowing, visiting to a flavour company will be envisaged.


Final grading is based on a written exam (60%) with closed questions and case study reports (40%). For both exam and case study reports a minimum pass mark of 5.5 is required. If there is more than one report a mean mark will be calculated for the different reports. The grade for the case study reports is valid for 5 years.


 Literature will be provided in Brightspace.

Restricted Optional for: MFTFood TechnologyMScI: Gastronomy2MO
MFTFood TechnologyMScF: European Master in Food Studies2MO
MFTFood TechnologyMScC: Product Design2MO
MFTFood TechnologyMScD: Ingredient Functionality2MO
MFTFood TechnologyMScE: Dairy Science and Technology2MO