University of Pretoria; South Africa

  • Organisational form: university
  • Focus on: food products (training, research and community service)
  • Major activities: research, training, consulting



Riette de Kock

University of Pretoria

Department of Food Science, Sensory Research Division

Private bag X20

Hatfield, Pretoria 0028

South Africa

Tel +271 24 20 32 38


The Sensory Evaluation Division at the University of Pretoria serves the needs of students and the food industry in terms of training, research and service.  Europe is South Africa’s main food export market.  Assisting food companies to understand the needs and demands of the European market is a major focus.


Basic research is focused on developing sensory evaluation test methodologies for use in Food Product Development, Quality Control and Quality Assurance e.g.

  • Hedonic Adjustment Potential (HAP) of foods. 
  • Test methods designed to predict long-term consumer acceptability of new products.
  • Sensory Analysis Critical Control Point (SACCP), a systematic approach to the identification, evaluation and control of sensory quality defects during manufacturing.


The division developed and regularly presents a series of step approach short courses: Six steps to Sensory Evaluation, Six steps to training a Descriptive Sensory Panel (DSP) and Consumer Sensory Testing: Step by Step.


Sensory tests are conducted in a modern laboratory with 16 booths utilising Compusense software.  Three general food preparation laboratories, a large- scale food-service unit and four pilot plant food processing areas are also available.  Sensory tests with consumers can be conducted in a centrally located dining room facility or in-home.  The university campus provides convenient access to a pool of consumers including 34 000 students, ± 4000 staff members, their friends and families.  When specific consumer profiles are required, a market research company in close proximity with a fully operational call centre and national database of field workers, is sub-contracted.


In addition, the division has access to two focus group facilities; additional off-campus pilot plant processing facilities, experimental and analytical food laboratories at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) and the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), all based in the Pretoria area.


Please check our website for further information