Laboratory and research team
The SensoryLab – Sensory Analysis Laboratory of the University of Florence is located in Florence in via Donizetti 6 – first floor. Part of the “Food Science and Technology” (STA) section, the SensoryLab deals with research and training activities on the topics of sensory perception and food preferences.
Studies involving both consumers and trained judges are carried out here, as well as the exercises of the three-year degree course in Food Technology (Sensory Analysis of Food), Dietetics (Food Science and Technology) and the Master’s Degree in Food Science and Technology (Analysis of consumer preferences) and Food Sciences (Perception and acceptability of food products).
The laboratory, built in compliance with voluntary ISO standards, is composed of a multifunction room used for focus groups, interviews, training and discussion, and 7 individual workstations equipped with a data acquisition and data processing computer system.
The laboratory also has workstations for carrying out implicit tests and the main software for statistical processing for the processing of sensory and textual data.
The research group dedicated to sensory sciences is composed by prof. Erminio Monteleone, by Prof. Caterina Dinnella, by Dr. Sara Spinelli (Researcher RTDb), by Dr. Lapo Pierguidi (Researcher RTDa), by the PhD candidates Dr. Marina Domenici, Angelica Lippi, Claudia Rorandelli, Margarita Kokkorou, by the fellow Dr. Julia Sick and by the laboratory technician Dr. Renzo Fusi.
Main research topics
The Sensorylab carries out transversal research activities on food preferences and behaviors and on food products:
STUDY OF FOOD PREFERENCES
- individual variability in food preferences
- role of attitudes and psychological traits, physiological variables and sensitivity to tastes in food preferences
- gender and age differences
- food preferences in specific age groups: children, adolescents, adults, the elderly
- food preferences in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy
- food preferences for specific diets: celiacs, vegetarians, flexitarians, omnivores
SENSORY PERCEPTION AND ACCEPTABILITY OF FOOD PRODUCTS
- sensory properties and acceptability
- relationships between emotions, liking and sensory properties
- contexts of use
- expectations and studies in blind and informed
- sensory functionality and culinary use of the products used as ingredients
- functional products enriched with antioxidants
- changes in taste and smell in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy
- alterations of taste and smell in subjects with covid 19
- product innovation thanks to the application of the global profile (sensory properties, emotions, contexts of use)
- innovation of products with a high sustainability and health value
SENSORY CHARACTERIZATION OF PRODUCTS
- descriptive analysis of food products with a trained panel
- evolution of the sensory profile during tasting: dynamic methods
DEVELOPMENT AND OPTIMIZATION OF SENSORY METHODS
- explicit and implicit methods for the study of liking and emotions
- dynamic sensory methods
- methods of manual counting and image analysis for the evaluation of the density of fungiform papillae
Since September 2013, prof. John Prescott, Editor of Food Quality and Preference Journal and director of TasteMatters Research & Consulting.
Internationally known researchers in the field of sensory sciences were guests of the laboratory such as Prof. Hely Tuorila of the University of Helsinki (Finland), Dr. Tormod Naes, Dr. Margrethe Hersleth, Dr. Valérie Lengard Almli from Nofima (Norway), Dr. Gaston Ares, Universidad de la Républica (Uruguay), prof. Davide Giacalone, University of Southern Denmark, Odense (Denmark), prof. Theresa L. White, Le Moyne College (USA), prof. Aleš Kuhar, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), prof. Rebecca Ford, University of Nottingham (UK).
They were also guests of the laboratory as part of the Marie Curie Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathway (IAPP) – To critically evaluate vegetable acceptability through individual and environmental characteristics across the lifespan in institutional food service (VEGGIEAT) project:
- Dr. Agnès Giboreau, Institute Paul Bocuse, Research Center, Lyon (France)
- Dr. Jérémie Lafraire, Institute Paul Bocuse, Research Center, Lyon (France)
- Dr. Estelle Petit, Institute Paul Bocuse, Research Center, Lyon (France)
- Dr. Anastasia Eschevin, Institute Paul Bocuse, Research Center, Lyon (France)
- Dr. Laurence Depezay, Sensory and Consumer Division, Bonduelle Corporate Research Center, Lille (France)
- Dr. David Morizet, Sensory and Consumer Division, Bonduelle Corporate Research Center, Lille (France)
- Dr. Eloïse Castagna, Sensory and Consumer Division, Bonduelle Corporate Research Center, Lille (France)
- Dr. Audrey Guillemot, Sensory and Consumer Division, Bonduelle Corporate Research Center, Lille (France)
dott. Renzo Fusi
RF su Linkedin
The PhD in Sustainable Management of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Systems is active at the Department of Agricultural, Food, Environmental and Forestry Sciences and Technologies (DAGRI)
Prof. Erminio Monteleone is the coordinator and Prof. Caterina Dinnella is a member of the college of the Doctorate in Sustainable Management of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Systems.
Bachelor of Science in FOOD SCIENCE (B207)
Teaching B020192 – PERCEPTION AND ACCEPTABILITY OF FOOD PRODUCTS
Bachelor of Science in FOOD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (B188)
Teaching B026409 – ANALYSIS OF CONSUMER PREFERENCES
Bachelor of Science in FOOD TECHNOLOGIES (B024)
Teaching B016333 – SENSORY ANALYSIS OF FOOD
tel: +39 055 2755505