Technology Area grant for research taste profile

5 February 2016

Professors Age Smilde (Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences), Robert Hall (Wageningen University & Research Centre) and Thomas Hankemeier (Leiden University) have received a Technology Area grant of 1.4 Million euros together with DSM and Unilever to perform research into the taste profile of foods.

The 'Taste by Measuring' programme has been set up to design and optimise formulas for food and food production based on rational grounds. Up till now, these were mostly based on trial and error. Taste and smell, two of the most important aspects of food, depend on the interaction of many chemical components. Understanding the relationship between chemistry, taste and smell will lead to new food products with enhanced flavour experiences.

The researchers will study the complex matrix of certain foods together with ingredients manufacturer DSM, food producer Unilever, three PhD students, a postdoc and two technicians. Smilde: 'Starting from very complex data, we will formulate simple conclusions. We hope to understand and predict both good and bad taste characteristics (off-flavours) based on the chemical composition of a product.'

About Technology Area

Technology Area (TA) is one of the public-private partnership cooperations financed by the Innovation Fund Chemistry from NWO Chemical Sciences (CW). A TA is intended for public-private cooperation between at least two companies and at least two research institutes. The joint question from several companies is investigated by several research organisations. TA's are financed for 1/3 by industry and 2/3 by NWO.

The minimum project size is € 750,000 (that is € 250,000 joint company contribution plus € 500,000 NWO contribution). The maximum project size is € 1.5 million. Topics that fall within the roadmaps of the Top Sector Chemistry are eligible for funding.


Published by  Swammerdam Institute