March 30, 2022 1-2 pm ET

Presented by Dr. Jacob Lahne
Assistant Professor, Food Science and Technology

Sensory science is the set of methodologies within food science that attempts to “objectively” measure human perceptions and experiences with foods through empirical methods.  However, because of its origins within the food-industrial complex, sensory science as a discipline tends to dismiss many key aspects of foods as “extrinsic” or “biasing” and thus not capable of relating to “objective” sensations.  In my research group at Virginia Tech, I use sensory-science methodologies to understand the sensory attributes of foods produced in Virginia and beyond, and in doing so I often encounter these contradictions of doing sensory science with local, regional, craft, and artisan products.  In this talk, I will present my research program, particularly in relation to Virginia food products, and so I will also explore some of this contested history and epistemology of sensory science as a discipline.  In doing so, I hope to spark a discussion about how my work in sensory and food sciences can contribute to more general food-systems work.

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