The summer school of the SEASONED project organised by the University Miguel Hernandez de Elche in Orihuela (UMH), under the coordination of UPWr, has just concluded. The event, which took place from 10-14 July 2023, focused participants' attention on basic sensory methods in food analysis. Despite record-breaking temperatures, participants enthusiastically learned the ins and outs of sensory analysis, worked in groups, visited laboratories and local markets, and discussed with representatives of leading Spanish food producers.
- It was particularly important to us that the participants, including PhD students from Poland, Denmark and Spain, had the opportunity to gain practical experience in planning and conducting sensory and consumer tests and visiting and using leading UMH university laboratories. The programme was mainly based on practical workshops, through which the participants gained up-to-date and practical skills necessary for modern food science research, says SEASONED Project Coordinator Prof Agnieszka Kita, Chair of the Food and Nutrition Technology Discipline Council and leader of the Food and Health WZB.
During the first day of the Summer School, participants learnt about the organoleptic properties of food, as well as the application of objective discriminative and descriptive methods using the examples of vegan ice cream, pomegranate juice and Vermut de Reus, extra virgin olive oil thanks to the collaboration with Agustí Romero from the Institute of Agricultural and Food Research and Technology - IRTA. The skills of affective, and sensory analysis were also perfected, using IRTA's #almonds4future case study as an example.
The second day focused on subjective methods, acceptance, preference, emotion, online research and dissemination research using the PechaKucha method using storytelling.
The third day was dedicated to the role of sensory science in new product development and quality control. Examples included research on almonds, hazelnuts and turrón (nougat, usually made from honey, sugar and egg white, with roasted almonds or nuts). Participants also had the opportunity to learn more about career opportunities in the industry and participate in a fruitful roundtable discussion with Spanish companies Chocolates Valor and Calconut S.L.
The fourth day of the Summer School was a trip to Alicante, where participants learnt about the workings of the accredited sensory evaluation committee for wines - Vinos de Alicante DOP. They then had the chance to visit one of the oldest markets in Alicante, learn about local products and eat at the excellent Rice and Bones restaurant.
The final day of the Summer School was full of excitement and interesting experiences. We started the day by continuing the case studies on bio-snacks and bio-beverages, which allowed participants to deepen their knowledge in this area. We then moved on to a summary of the case studies throughout the school. This brought together all the key information and experiences, allowing participants to review and reflect on the knowledge they had gained.
A special highlight of the final day was the discovery of wines from Romania. This part of the programme brought new sensory experiences and allowed the participants to broaden their horizons in the context of the international wine market.
Thus, full of impressions and new knowledge, we concluded the Summer School, which was a unique experience for all participants. We would like to thank all participants and partners for participating in this extremely valuable event and invite you to the next editions of the Summer School.
SEASONED project partners: Universidad Miguel Hernandez de Elche from Spain, Syddansk Universitet from Odense, Denmark, Basque Culinary Center from San Sebastian, Spain and REDINN SRL.
For more information on the SEASONED project, visit www.seasonedproject.eu and social media channels.