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Award winner, Katy Su, reports from the 7th Annual Nursten Symposium

Katy Su, 7th Annual Nursten Symposium

19 Sep 2019

This year’s 7th Nursten Postgraduate Flavour Symposium was held at the University of Reading. Postgraduate students delivered oral presentations on different aspects of their research work covering a wide range of subject areas.

The SCI Food Group awards prizes to the best oral presentations with Katy Su winning for the best presentation with industry application. Katy presented her research on modifying the microstructure of high sugar gels to improve the nutritional value and the impacts on flavour release and perception. Here, she tells us about her experience at the symposium.

‘The annual Nursten Postgraduate Flavour Symposium was held at the University of Reading this year. Over 60 delegates attended, including students and academics from the University of Reading, University of Nottingham and Birmingham City University, and also from industry. Research presented at the symposium covered flavour release, retention, and perception from a range of foods and beverages including cheese, herbs, confectionery, meat and beer.

7th Annual Nursten Symposium ‘The sessions covered a variety of aspects of flavour, and the first day of talks covered flavour generation mechanisms and release and how reformulation of foods affect flavour. Between the two sessions, Dr. Dave Baines (Baines Food Consultancy Ltd.) presented about flavour and evolution and during this workshop we put our senses to the test by attempting to guess what food a given aroma is characteristic of. This sparked some interesting discussions, and we also had the chance to try samples whilst blocking the sense of smell.

‘After a fantastic first day, delegates headed into Reading town centre for dinner together at Côte Brasserie. As this symposium is a yearly event, it was great to have a chance to catch up and network during the dinner and the breaks throughout the day.

‘Session three began with another activity based talk, by Nick Dyson (Create Flavours Ltd). We had the opportunity to try some flavours both in liquid form and in a baked product. It was a great way to start a session all about sensory perception of flavour. The following sessions focussed on flavour analysis techniques and methodologies and flavour in herbs.

‘The symposium closed with an awards ceremony. I was very pleased to be awarded the best presentation for industry application. This award was presented by Dr. Craig Duckham and kindly sponsored by SCI. My research, sponsored by a BBSRC Industrial CASE Partnership (ICP), involves modifying the microstructure of high sugar gels to improve the nutritional value and the impacts on flavour release and perception. I discussed the techniques I used to follow aroma release in nose in real time, sucrose release during chewing and how that impacts panellist’s sensory perception of flavour over time.

‘Well done to all the speakers and prize winners, it was a fantastic symposium as usual. The main prize – the Nursten trophy and prize also sponsored by SCI, for the best overall presentation went to Sam Riley. Sam also won the most popular presentation, sponsored by IFST. The RSC sponsored award for best presentation on flavour chemistry was awarded to HuiQi Yeo. Thank you to the Reading Nursten organising team for organising and hosting such a wonderful symposium, and we look forward to hosting the 8th Nursten symposium in Nottingham next year.’

Katy Su
PhD Student
University of Nottingham

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