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PhD Studentship: Exploring the association between temperature and sweetness perception. and the role of different composition on sweetness perception


Location:  UK Other
Closing Date:  Tuesday 17 January 2023
Reference:  SCI2128

Subject Area: Sensory and Consumer Science, Biosciences (BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership, Researcher Academy)

UoN Supervisor names: Dr Qian Yang, Dr Rebecca Ford, Professor Ian Fisk

Research Description: 

Sweet snacks and dessert tend to give consumers a great pleasure and satisfaction, but often it also gives consumers a guilty emotion after consumption due to its high calorie content. The global sugar reduced/free sweet food market continue evolving due to increased number of health-conscious consumers, which does not only give consumers the indulgent sensation, but also offer a guilty-free emotion after eating. Therefore, innovations are constantly needed in sugar substitute’s solution to introduce sugar-reduced products without compromising its taste. It is well known that temperature interact perceived taste and flavour during consumption, for example, cold beverage taste less sweet than drinking at ambient temperature. However, the mechanism behind sweetness and temperature interaction is not fully understood. This information is important as it can be used to inform new product formulations. Therefore, the aim of this PhD research is to gain a fundamental understanding of mechanism behind the interaction between sweetness and temperature in a model temperature-sensitive food product and investigate the key factors affecting sweetness perception, as well as to explore the temporal profile of different formulated products. The successful candidate will gain a multidisciplinary experience, learning aspects of sensory evaluation methodologies, product formulation, analytical flavour measurements, consumer methods, emotional response evaluation and predictive modelling. 

In addition, as part of the program, the student will conduct two three-month placements to gain technical trainings provided by Unilever across a range of different business areas, and have the opportunity to work with product category expertise at Unilever’s Pilot Production Facilities on product formulation. 

Award Start date: October 2023

Duration of Award: 4 years

This studentship is a BBSRC Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) between University of Nottingham and Unilever. Funding is available for four years from Oct 2023. The awards cover Home tuition fees (currently £4,596 per annum) plus UKRI standard stipend (£17,668 per annum). The successful applicant will be registered for the degree of PhD in Food Science/Sensory Science in the School of Biosciences. 

Applications are invited from suitably qualified students in science related subjects, with experience in sensory and consumer science.  Please see eligibility criteria at the following link: and you can find further information about how to apply to our programme.

In addition to the academic requirements for the project the following skills and behaviours would be highly advantageous: A curiosity to expand your knowledge of business practices and how research insights can be translated into consumer applications. An appreciation of the benefits of stakeholder management. Strong communication skills with the ability to tailor information to the needs of different audiences. 

Informal enquiries may be addressed to

Apply online here by noon on Tuesday 17th January 2023

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