HNE-30506 Principles of Sensory Science


Studiepunten 6.00

Group work3
Excursion (one day)1
Course coordinator(s)dr. S Boesveldt
dr. ir. VWT de Wild
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. C de Graaf
dr. G Jager
dr. S Boesveldt
prof. dr W Bredie
dr. ir. EPJ Boer
Examiner(s)dr. S Boesveldt
prof. dr. ir. C de Graaf

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Knowledge about food & nutrition, basic statistics.

Continuation courses:

HNE-30606 Sensory Science II.


Note: This course has a maximum number of participants. The deadline for registration is one week earlier than usual. See Academic Year ( -> Registration for Courses.

Sensory science is an expanding field of research. During this course, an introduction will be given to the field of sensory science. The different aspects of sensory science as well as the relationships between these aspects will be discussed and presented. Several (guest) lectures are given on the basic theoretical knowledge of sensory science with a focus on human research. Classical and more novel sensory methodology and physiology of the senses are the basis of this course, which will be studied in-depth. Additionally, basic experimental psychology, behavioral observation and different factors that can influence sensation & perception (e.g. context, learning) will be discussed to show the development of the field, as well as statistical methods to analyse sensory data. Besides following lectures, the students will perform a classical sensory test on their own, within a specific food category. They will analyse and present the data with simple as well as more advanced statistics (such as mixed models, PCA) and descriptive plots, and write a scientific report about the results with their own practical group, and present it as well. The students will have an excursion to the Restaurant of the Future to show our the state-of-the-art facilities for sensory research facilities (e.g. behavioral observation).
The topics covered by this course are:
- classical and advanced sensory methodology: discrimination, thresholds, descriptive, preference and affective tests (in-depth); time-intensity methods;
- sensation and perception: physiology, anatomy & functions of the senses (in-depth);
- psychophysics (in-depth);
- behavioral observation;
- context & bias in sensory studies;
- sensometrics: statistical analyses, interpretation and presentation of sensory research data.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students should be able to:
- explain and illustrate the basic theoretical principles of sensory science;
- select and apply the appropriate sensory methods with respect to the research question;
- explain and implement the function and physiology of the different flavor-related senses , and how they can interact;
- prepare and execute a sensory test in a scientific way;
- analyse and interpret sensory data correctly;
- design and setup a sensory experiment based on a self-generated research question;
- critically reflect and discuss sensory literature.


- follow lectures on sensory science theory;
- literature study;
- learn from knowledge clip;
- engage in e-module;
- (PC) tutorials;
- group work practical (sensory testing);
- writing a scientific report and an excursion to the Restaurant of the Future.


Final grade will be based upon a written examination (2/3 of the grade; open questions and multiple choice) as well as the group work (1/3 of the grade; based on research proposal, report and presentation). Each component needs a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass. The mark for the group work is valid for 2 academic years.


Will be announced.

Verplicht voor: MNHNutrition and HealthMScD: Sensory Science1AF
Keuze voor: BFTFood TechnologyBSc1AF
MFTFood TechnologyMScD: Ingredient Functionality1AF
MFTFood TechnologyMScG: Sensory Science1AF
MNHNutrition and HealthMScA: Epidemiology and Public Health1AF
MNHNutrition and HealthMScC: Molecular Nutrition and Toxicology1AF
MNHNutrition and HealthMScB: Nutritional Physiology and Health Status1AF
Verplicht voor: WUPEBBSc Minor Psychobiology of Eating Behaviour1AF