Flavours and aromas are central to our enjoyment of food and beverages and are key determinants of our food choices. The characteristic flavours of foods and beverages arise from complex interactions between hundreds of tastants and odorants, the food matrices from which they are released, physiological variables affecting flavour perception, and the human context of consumption. Flavours and aromas in foods and beverages may be intrinsic or develop as the result of natural or controlled processes. The production and optimisation of flavours in foods and beverages requires a strong understanding of the underlying chemistry, and the impact of physicochemical processes. The systematic study of flavours and aromas has two main branches: biochemical profiling of flavour constituents through instrumental analysis and hedonic profiling of flavour perception through sensory analysis. Students undertaking this unit of study will develop an understanding of flavour and aroma from three perspectives: (1) human flavour perception and how this interacts with the context of consumption; (2) key chemical groups contributing to characteristic flavours and aromas in foods and beverages and how these are influenced by physicochemical processes; and (3) the principles that inform the methodology of instrumental and sensory analyses. Students will develop practical skills in flavour profiling using subjective sensory analysis, objective instrumental analysis, and advanced statistical methods. Teaching and assessment will take a problem-based learning approach by using coffee and other case studies to highlight the complexity of flavour interactions.
Two 1-hour lectures, and one 3-hour practical per week
One 2-hour final exam (40%), one literature review (10%), three lab reports (2 x 15% + 1 x 20% = 50%)
No prescribed textbook but recommended reading includes: Delarue, Lawlor and Rogeaux (2015) Rapid Sensory Profiling Techniques: Applications in New Product Development and Consumer Research. Elsevier Ltd. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/book/9781782422488; Taylor and Linforth (2010) Food Flavour Technology 2nd Edition. Taylor and Linforth. Wiley-Blackwell, UK.; Kilcast (2015) Instrumental Analysis of Food Sensory Quality: A Practical Guide. Woodhead Publishing. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/book/9780857094391
Knowledge of statistics from, or equivalent to that in, the 1st year Units of Study in the degrees in which this Unit is available.
12cp from (CHEM1XX1, CHEM1XX2, AGEN1006)