CSIRO Food Science Australia

Organisational form: governmental

Focus on: food

Major activities: sensory and consumer science, healthy eating behaviour


CSIRO’s sensory and consumer science aims to understand the influences on sensory perception and eating behaviour and to use this knowledge to influence food quality, human health and well-being.

The research focus areas are:

• Assisting food industry to develop healthier foods through sensory and consumer science (research, training and consultancy)

• Gain consumer insights and insights into the sensory preferences/needs of specific populations (children, elderly, dysphagic) for the design of personalised foods

• Understanding inter-individual biological (physiological, receptor, genetic, health) and environmental (culture, exposure) differences, and product properties (intrinsic and extrinsic) related to sensory perception, food acceptance and food intake

• Contribute to a healthier food supply by understanding the dynamics of eating, including oral breakdown of food, flavour release, perception, acceptance and cross modal sensory interactions, and characterize the chemical and physical stimuli that give rise to flavour and texture of food.

• Understanding acceptance of foods towards a healthy and sustainable diet across the lifespan

• Designing and evaluating sensory-led interventions to assist populations to make healthier food choices


Key resources in sensory and consumer science available to industry include:

• dedicated sensory laboratory, with ten individual testing booths, fully equipped kitchen and automated data acquisition software

• screened and trained sensory panel of 15 external assessors

• expertise in sensory methodologies including sensory descriptive evaluation, difference tests, rapid profiling, sorting tasks and dynamic measures of perception

• consumer acceptance expertise and facilities for adults and children and the ability to conduct cross-cultural consumer acceptance research

• consumer acceptance methodologies including consumer sensory acceptance research, preference mapping, conjoint analysis and dynamics of acceptance

• qualitative consumer research (interviews, focus groups)

• three sensory booths equipped with Simultaneous Ingestion Pattern Monitor for measuring satiety, satiation and micro-structure of eating behaviour

• quarantine approved lab (PC1) that allows for import of food products from overseas.


Flavour analytical expertise supporting our sensory research includes:

• gas chromatography - olfactometry

• proton transfer reaction – mass spectrometry

• gas chromatography – mass spectrometry

• high performance liquid chromatography – taste dilution analysis.







Dr Astrid Poelman

CSIRO Agriculture and Food
PO Box 52 North Ryde NSW 1670

tel: +61 2 9490 8356
e-mail: astrid.poelman [at] csiro.au