Consumer science & the development of biodegradable plastic

Betina Piqueras Fiszman talks about the role of consumer science in developing sustainable packaging.

Sustainability plays an ever more important role in our everyday life. How do I prevent food waste? Which packaging should I use? Which products are an alternative to meat and dairy? To address these issues, industry and research organizations are teaming up to develop new ideas for a more sustainable future. Sensory and consumer science are essential in bringing these ideas to life.

If the algae burger doesn´t taste good, the consumer won´t buy it again. If the biodegradable packaging looks and feels unappealing, the customer will choose the conventional plastic instead. Many good ideas can be lost in the transfer from lab to supermarket. With the help of sensory science, it is possible to develop sustainable products that the consumer understands and likes. Fittingly, the next Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium in 2021 in Vancouver, will be held under the motto “Sustainable Sensory Science”.

In our ESN sustainability series, we will present projects that investigate future-friendly products, behaviours and ideas. We start with the European YPACK project. The YPACK team is developing a biodegradable plastic from cheese whey and almond shells. Betina Piqueras Fiszman from ESN member Wageningen University talks about the project and explains the role of sensory and consumer science within the project.