Understanding eating quality

Area of Expertise:

AFBI research focuses on the chemical and physical basis of consumer food preferences using a combination of sensory and instrumental techniques.

Chemical and physical basis of eating quality

Flavour research by GC-MS-olfactometry
Research focuses on understanding the chemical and physical basis of consumer liking, with the aim of managing eating quality to deliver the characteristics desirable to the consumer and marketable by industry. Research is conducted through a combination of sensory, consumer and instrumental techniques. Sensory research techniques include a wide range of International and British Standard techniques, underpinned by comprehensive statistical expertise from AFBI’s Biometrics Branch.  These include subjective and objective techniques, with separate consumer panels, lay panels and fully trained quantitative descriptive panels. AFBI’s Sensory Research Unit is a lead partner in Sensory Food Network Ireland. All sensory analyses are certified under ISO9001.

The sensory expertise is complemented by instrumental analyses of colour, texture and flavour precursors, taste and odour compounds using a range of spectroscopic and chromatographic methods. Chemometric techniques are used to understand how food composition links to sensory attributes and consumer liking scores. Further details of the sensory and instrumental analyses available are provided at the link below.

AFBI Food Science works with scientists around the world to understand beef flavour and eating quality and also provides flavour and sensory analyses to the local red meat, pork, poultry, horticulture, and aquaculture sectors.  Research is conducted for large and small NI companies to assist them in problem-solving when off-flavours occur.

AFBI expertise on flavour analysis has contributed to a project on the environmental problem caused by odour from pig houses.  A re-evaluation of the published data has shown that a range of compounds are responsible.

Contact: Food chemistry group