New ESN member: the Sense Lab from Örebro University, Sweden

We are glad to announce the addition of a new member to the European Sensory Network, the Örebrö University of Sweden.


Åsa (right) and Mihaela in front of Örebrö University in the Southern heart of Sweden. It´s motto: dulce est sapere*.

Dear Åsa, Mihaela and the whole Sense Lab team, we are looking forward to working with you! Prof. Åsa Öström is the leader of the Sense Lab at Örebrö University. The university is situated in southern Sweden, 200 km west of Stockholm, and offers its services to over 17.000 students. It was founded in 1999 and ranks number 75 in the Times Higher Education´s list of best young universities in the world. The university’s Sense Lab has been created in 2014.

“We felt that there was a gap between the knowledge gained from sensory science and the culinary arts”, Åsa Öström explains. The Sense Lab´s aim is to close that gap by engaging in truly interdisciplinary research that makes use of state-of-the-art methods used in sensory science and addresses questions that arise in the context of gastronomy.


The Sense Lab and its beautiful surroundings.


Research for healthier eating habits

Mihaela Minhea, researcher at the Sense Lab, adds: “The combination of the two fields will help us to gain a better understanding on how we can make eating habits healthier and more sustainable.” Åsa Öström and Mihaela Mihnea at the Sense Lab. Mihaela Mihnea is no stranger to the European Sensory Network. She is ESN secretary and already was part of ESN when she was working for RISE. “After experiencing the close collaboration within ESN, when I switched to the Sense Lab, I encouraged Åsa to apply for a membership at ESN.”

Asa Öström immediately agreed, and a few months later, after an affirmative vote by the ESN members and an audit by Claire Sulmont-Rossé from ESN member CSGA, the Sense Lab became the network’s second Swedish member. (For more information about the process of applying for an ESN membership go here).



Combining culinary arts with science. Åsa Öström and Mihaela Mihnea at the Sense Lab.

The Sense Lab is involved in a variety of interdisciplinary research projects; among them are: Improved sensory experience for the elderly, healthier eating through virtual reality, how sound affects the way we perceive taste (in collaboration with musicians such as Janne Schaffer).

The Sense Lab team is especially interested in a number of ESN research projects. “ESN has ongoing programmes in the area of food and sustainability. We are looking forward to joining these collaborations and bring our expertise from the culinary arts to these projects”, explains Åsa Öström. To find out more about the Sense Lab and its research projects, visit their website.

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* Win an ESN special edition cookbook “Madeleines”. Answer the following question: What does the motto of Örebrö university “dulce est sapere” mean: a) knowledge is sweet, b) know your desserts. Send the answer until 30th of April 2022 to


Photo credits: all photos by Hans Lundholm