Workshop Sessions

Register now for on-demand access to recordings of the following workshops:

Can we take the lab to the world? Exploring participatory approaches to sensory science
10:15 - 11:15 CDT Monday, 9 August, 2021

Three different views of sensory education from early career professionals, hiring managers and teachers of sensory: How do their perspectives compare?
16:15 - 17:15 CDT Monday, 9 August, 2021

Consumer sensory research in Africa: The Africa country profile project
10:15 - 11:15 CDT Tuesday, 10 August, 2021

How to create inclusive models for sensory & consumer research? Case studies and challenges for the years to come
10:45 - 11:45 CDT Wednesday, 11 August, 2021

A journey of consumer segmentation. History and a discussion of current “preference” segmentation approaches based on incomplete and complete test designs.
08:00 - 09:00 CDT Thursday, 12 August, 2021

The modern processed food environment; challenges and opportunities for sensory and consumer science
11:15 - 12:15 CDT Thursday, 12 August, 2021

Vision 2033 – sustainable future for sensory & consumer research career
16:15 - 17:15 CDT Wednesday, 11 August, 2021

Can we take the lab to the world? Exploring participatory approaches to sensory science

Q.J. Wang1, C. Spackman2, J. Lahne3

1Aarhus University, Denmark. 2Arizona State University, USA. 3Virginia Tech, USA


IDEA: This 60-minute workshop explores potential avenues for moving sensory science “out” of the lab through participatory approaches, and examines how such efforts might expand the impact of sensory science to influence policy making and approaches to governance.

BASIS: The massive disruption to sensory research presented by the COVID-19 pandemic brought forward an intrinsic challenge to current sensory science models: getting people together is not always possible. As people virtually gathered from remote locations, the pandemic highlighted the fact that there are significant numbers of people whose sensory insights and experiences rarely make it into sensory laboratories—from rural folks to those who live far from testing sites or places of production. We see this moment as an inflection point for not only reconsidering the doing of sensory science, but also for exploring what might happen if we try to take the “lab” to the world. To explore this, we will conduct an experimental workshop focused on a sensory object we anticipate all Pangborn attendees will have access to: tap water. Tap water provides an especially useful object for exploring participatory approaches to doing the conduct of sensory science—folks encounter it daily, and the tastes and smells found in tap water directly impact inhabitants’ willingness to support infrastructure improvements. By using an easily accessible and very familiar (but often overlooked) foodstuff, this workshop invites participants to collaboratively think together about the challenges and opportunities presented by moving sensory science practices normally done in controlled environments out into the more unpredictable locales of everyday life.

FORMAT: Workshop participants will be invited to pre-register. One week before the workshop, participants will be sent instructions to prepare for the workshop. We will ask participants to pre-prepare a glass of tap water that has sat out uncovered for 30 minutes and a glass of tap water that has sat out, covered by a plate, for 30 minutes. We will open the session with a 10 minute introduction where we each briefly present in-progress participatory approaches to sensory science. We will then break attendees into three moderated rooms where they will participate in collaboratively tasting and describing their tap water over a 25 minute period. Descriptors will be entered into a word cloud generating tool, which will then be sorted to highlight dominant and less common descriptors. The groups will then reconvene for the remaining 15 minutes to explore the generated flavor “fingerprint” and collaboratively workshop the approach using a participatory design process to iterate on the approach.   

SPEAKERS/MODERATORS: The three speakers/moderators have expertise in crossmodal and alternative modes of doing sensory science research with the aims of having societal and policy impacts. 

OUTCOME: After the workshop, we will write an opinion paper exploring challenges and possibilities in moving sensory science out of the lab, and examining the stakes of making sensory science practices relevant to larger policy issues such as water governance. 

Participant Details:

Qian (Janice) Wang specialises in research within crossmodal correspondences between sound and flavour.

Christy Spackman specialises in research around the social impact of sensory science practice and using multi-modal delivery systems (Virtual Reality + Olfaction) for exploring sensory science as a form of citizen science.

Jacob Lahne specialises in research that seeks to develop new methods for the sensory evaluation and analysis of foods and to use those methods to generate knowledge in unexplored areas of sensory science.

Workshop:  Three different views of sensory education from early career professionals, hiring managers and teachers of sensory:  How do their perspectives compare?


Christine VanDongen1, Jee Lee2, Lauren Rogers3, Martin Talavera4

1University of Minnesota, St. Paul, USA. 2Pusan National University, Pusan, Korea, DPR. 3Consultant, Leek, UK. 4Kansas State University, Olathe, USA


The main objectives of this Workshop are to report on a survey of how current sensory education prepares students for roles as sensory professionals in industry, to identify possible areas for improving sensory education, and to propose changes that might improve future sensory professionals’ readiness to serve in their role as sensory scientists in industry.  A global survey on sensory education among three Stakeholder groups will be conducted:  Early career sensory students/professionals, hiring managers and sensory educators. The survey results will be summarized by Workshop Organizers.  A Stakeholder panel, consisting of globally sourced members representing early career sensory professionals, hiring managers, and sensory educators, will review the survey results with an eye to what changes to sensory education might strengthen student’s entry into roles in industry. Following the Workshop Organizers summary of the survey findings, the Stakeholder panel will provide their views on:  1. The gaps, if any, that currently exist in sensory education; 2. What changes should be made in the education of students to better prepare them for roles in industry, and 3. The priorities their proposed solutions to advance sensory education should have.  The overall focus of this workshop is to get direct feedback from the three stakeholders involved in the preparation of students for their careers.   It is hoped that this information provides the impetus for changes in how students prepare for their career.   The goal is to have professionals in the applied sensory and consumer sciences be a better strategic partner for industry.  Workshop discussions will focus on identifying education gaps and prioritizing solutions to address these gaps, and the potential benefits to the profession as a whole if these gaps are addressed.  The proposed modifications to sensory education identified in this Workshop should give focus to each stakeholder group about what changes they might make in the future to their respective roles in the future.

The proposed Workshop structure will be (a) Workshop Organizers Survey Summary (20 minutes); (b) Stakeholders Gap Identification and Proposed Solutions (30 minutes) and (c) Workshop Organizers and Stakeholders summarizing the findings, solutions, and priorities, along with questions, if any are submitted in advance. (10 minutes).

Workshop: Consumer sensory research in Africa:  the Africa country profile project

Henrietta de Kock1, James Makame1, Ganiyat Olatunde2, Abadi Mezgebe3, Marise Kinnear1, Vonimihaingo Ramaroson Rakotosamimanana4, Maame Adjei5

1University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa. 2Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria. 3Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia. 4Chercheur et Responsable du Laboratoire d'Analyse Sensorielle d'Ambatobe, Antananarivo, Madagascar. 5University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana


The African continent is home to more than 1 billion people, approximately 15 % of the world population, a young consumer market that is rapidly increasing.  There are more than fifty countries in Africa and over 2100 languages spoken with a wide variety of traditional beliefs and religions with major influences on culture and philosophy.  An under explored and under researched available market.  How can opportunities be translated into action?

The Africa Network for Sensory Evaluation Research ANSWER initiated a project to define demographic profiles of consumers and cultural practices in different African countries.   In collaboration with the Horizon 2020 EU-funded project InnoFoodAfrica (Innovative, Comprehensive Approaches For Improving Local Food Systems Towards Healthy Diet In Africa And For Global Export) compilation of country profiles for South Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia were established based on the ASTM cross-cultural consumer testing guideline document ( The outputs of the Africa country profile activity will serve as information that can provide insight and background for various stakeholders (companies, research institutions etc.) when planning and conducting consumer tests in African countries.  The project is an initiative to grow and develop the discipline of Sensory and Consumer Science on the African continent. ANSWER aims to engage scientists from cross-disciplinary fields with a mutual interest to address the challenges and opportunities for food, nutrition and well-being of consumers in Africa.

During the 60 min workshop: 

  1. A link to the open-access online “Guidelines for planning consumer testing in African countries” publication will be made available to participants that register for the workshop prior to the meeting.

During the workshop

  1. A brief introduction of the country profile project (10 min)
  2. Based on a case study, participants will discuss how to plan a consumer test using the information in the guideline. (30 min)
  3. Feedback on the value of the information and the limitations/gaps identified. (15 min)
  4. Workshop closing (5 min)

The workshop aims to:  introduce the Africa country profile project, identify the value and limitations/gaps in order to optimise the country profile information and develop the discipline of Sensory and Consumer Science on the African continent.

Workshop: How to create inclusive models for sensory & consumer research?  Case studies and challenges for the years to come


Henriette de KOCK1, Karine MIOT2, Fernando PINO3, Mette SCHLEISS4, Carlos GOMEZ-CORONA5, Ravinderpalsingh Ghuman2

1University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa. 2Firmenich SA, London, UK. 3INTI, Buenos Aires, Argentina. 4Firmenich SA, Geneva, Switzerland. 5Firmenich SA, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France


It is a scientist’s goal to do research for good, to have a positive impact on the life of humans, animals, and the environment. The role of a sensory and consumer scientist should be symbiotic with nature and have a positive impact on our society. Several consumer researchers and associations have raised their hand to ask for a change in our research objectives and making the human and the world at the center of our research actions. Today, the idea of sustainability and social responsibility is no longer a vague concept, but an imperative to do research for good. 

With our eyes on social responsibility, we can focus on important aspects of sensory and consumer research. The first can be working with persons with disabilities in sensory science. The second can be working with low-income consumers to bring solutions to their needs, and the third one can be inclusive models. 

In this workshop we want to share four different case studies on how to create inclusive models for sensory and consumer research. Our objective is to have an interactive 60min workshop, in which the audience takes control of the content to be explored using interactive audience poll and select the route of the presentations, and the topics for a short live discussion. 

Workshop: A journey of consumer segmentation. History and a discussion of current “preference” segmentation approaches based on incomplete and complete test designs.

Tom Carr1, John Castura2, Lori Rothman3, Heather Thomas4, Josef Zach5

1Carr Consulting, Wilmette, USA. 2Compusense Inc., Guelph, Canada. 3Diageo, London, UK. 4Dragonfly SCI, Inc., San Francisco, USA. 5Ipsos, Munich, Germany


Product liking based segmentation, often called preference segmentation, is a well-established approach. The approach presents opportunities for innovation and for optimization of a product portfolio.

The goals of this workshop are to review the history of preference segmentation and to discuss current statistical approaches to liking based segmentation, which the speakers will address by analyzing the same data set with their approaches. 

Tom Carr will discuss the history of preference segmentation, examine the statistical depth, and he will quote one of the inventors of preference segmentation, i.e. Howard Moskowitz. 

Adding to the growing popularity of preference segmentation, Heather Thomas will report on her decades of experience running preference segmentation routinely for clients around the world. 

Josef Zach will then explain Sensory Spatial Segmentation, an innovative approach that allows to run preference segmentation on incomplete test designs without data imputation, locating both consumers and products in the sensory space. 

John Castura will review how consumer segments can be found using a combination of sensory and statistical methods. Sensory methods include the Sensory-Informed Design, used when collecting incomplete complete data is impractical/unadvised. 

The session will be moderated by Lori Rothman.

Workshop: The modern processed food environment; challenges and opportunities for sensory and consumer science

Ciaran Forde1,2, Kees De Graaf3, Gaston Ares4, Bernard Srour5

1National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore. 2Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation (SIFBI), Singapore, Singapore. 3Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen, The Netherlands. 4Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay. 5Sorbonne Paris Nord University, Inserm, Paris, France


Increased consumption of processed foods has coincided with rising global rates of obesity and diet related chronic diseases. A substantial part of foods purchased and consumed in developed countries from the US to Europe and Asia are classified as processed or ultra-processed (UPF) products and include packaged-breads, vegetable-fat spreads, sweet and savoury snacks, breakfast cereals, and sodas. These foods are often described as being high in energy and low in nutrients and some have been referred to as ‘industrial creations’ that are cheap to produce, convenient and often ‘hyper-palatable’. However, for large portions of the global population, packaged and processed foods provide affordable access to safe and digestible foods that meet daily energy and (micro-)nutrient intakes. In addition, the move in recent years to consume diets based on more sustainable food sources of non-animal origin, has led the development and consumption of many new highly processed products with plant-ingredients only. This suggests a potential conflict between food processing, sustainability and health.

The workshop will include an interactive quiz on food processing, short presentations from leading experts in consumer science, epidemiology, sensory and nutrition, (4 x 8-10 mins), which will be punctuated by Q+A throughout the session (i.e., Mentimeter), and wrap-up with a discussion on new opportunities for sensory scientists to maintain sensory appeal while contributing to the enhanced health and sustainability of the future food environment. Attendees will also receive a QR code at the end of the session to download all slides from each speaker, a summary of the Q+A and associated publications and reports on UPF covered during the talks.

The workshop will present available evidence on the role of UPF in energy intake, health and sustainability, and debate the implications of food-processing and reformulation for sensory and consumer researchers in the future. To engage the audience, we begin with an interactive game to familiarise the audience with the NOVA food processing classification system and follow this with a presentation by Prof Gaston Ares (Uruguay) with experimental evidence on consumer understanding about the term ‘ultra-processed’, and their impact on health and behaviour. This will be followed by an overview of the global epidemiological evidence on associations between UPF consumption and chronic diseases by Dr. Bernard Srour, from the NutriNet-Santé Cohort, Inserm (France). New experimental evidence on the role of the sensory cues of processed foods in moderating acute energy intake will be shared by Prof Kees DeGraaf (Netherlands), with the first presentation of novel findings on the eating behaviours and sensory cues that promote greater energy intake from processed-foods. The workshop will conclude with a moderated discussion led by Prof. Ciaran Forde (Singapore) on the challenges and opportunities for sensory and consumer scientists to apply food structure and product reformulation to enhance the nutrient quality of UPF’s in the future. With this perspective we hope to stimulate debate and reconcile perceived conflicts between food processing, sustainability and health.

Workshop: Vision 2033 – sustainable future for sensory & consumer research career

Ratapol Teratanavat1, Stella Salisu Hickman2, Kristine Wilke3, Clare Dus4

1Takasago International Corp., Rockleigh, NJ, USA. 2Brisan Group, Chicago, IL, USA. 3Garza Consulting LLC, Chelsea, MI, USA. 4Sensory Spectrum, Chatham, NJ, USA


Sensory and consumer research professionals have been evolving in the past 30 years and it will continue to transform due to disruptive technology and changes in industry expectations in terms of what professionals will be doing. To prepare for the 40th year of Pangborn Symposium, we’d like to challenge our professionals to think about what the sensory and consumer research discipline will be in 2033, what challenges and opportunities lay ahead of us, and what skills we should prepare ourselves to have sustainable career.

Several aspects we will focus on include:

  1. Role of sensory and consumer research professionals in the organization. How do we overcome the challenges that many organizations are being downsized or expected to do more with less?
  2. Role of digital transformation technology. How well does the organization adopt and integrate new technologies such as AI to gain deeper insights and add more values to business? 
  3. Value of inter-disciplinary collaboration (with market research, economics, psychology, neurosciences, etc.). Why we should continue and what is the resistance to change? 
  4. Importance of soft skills in career advancement. What soft skills are critical for sensory and consumer research professionals to succeed and thrive in their organization?  
  5. Role of mentors and sponsors. How do we find a mentor or sponsor who is willing to help guide us?

A roundtable panel discussion with 3-4 multi-disciplinary professionals at different stages of their career will take place to share their perspective and offer career advice. To make this interactive, we will send out a survey questionnaire to members of Society of Sensory Professionals (SSP) before the meeting to gather ideas and questions related to the topics.  During the session, we will share results with attendees and discuss in greater details on some important questions that are raised in the survey.

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