The Science of Taste Modifying and Flavor Enhancement: Bringing Consumers and Clients to a Healthy Table

Session Track: Weight Management

Date: Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 3:15 p.m. -4:15 p.m.

Session Description:

What are consumers looking for in terms of taste and texture among weight-management products? Understanding the physiology and psychochemistry of taste and smell perception is the first step to appreciating the strategies available to address flavor challenges created by ingredients such as high intensity sweeteners, sodium-reducing ingredients, and other functional additives in healthful foods. This presentation uses hands-on activities to explore taste modifying methodologies such as taste-masking and taste-blocking. You'll taste a variety of products where off-flavors have been modified to improve consumer acceptance. You'll also learn about flavor ingredient trends that are prompting "healthy" formulations. From the health practitioner perspective, you'll learn why consumers make the healthy food choices that they do. Finally, you will gain insight into the development of products that meet consumer taste expectations, and learn to identify ways that flavors can be enhanced, thereby increasing consumer acceptance.

Speaker Information:

Robert Sobel, Ph.D., Director of Technology & Innovation, FONA International
Robert Sobel
Dr. Robert Sobel is director of Technology and Innovation at FONA International. He directs technology and innovation efforts in the areas of new and novel flavor encapsulation, delivery systems, and taste-modifying technology and functions as FONA International’s Flavor University® faculty lead. He has given a variety of symposia on topics such as the analysis of flavor encapsulates, and challenges of the microencapsulation of flavors. Dr. Sobel holds a doctorate degree in chemistry from Northern Illinois University.

Marie Spano, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., C.S.C.S., Nutrition Consultant, Spano Sports Nutrtition Consulting
Marie SpanoMarie Spano is one of the country’s top sports nutritionists and a nutrition communications expert. She combines science with practical experience to help Olympic, professional, and recreational athletes of all ages implement a nutrition game plan that will maximize their athletic performance. She is the sports nutritionist for Competitive Edge Sports and the National Hockey League's Atlanta Thrashers. She is the nutrition coach for a corporate weight loss program, assisting Weight Watchers clients with weight management strategies, and has appeared on NBC, ABC, and Fox. Additionally, she has authored hundreds of magazine articles, book chapters, e-zines, and marketing materials. A registered dietitian, Ms. Spano holds a master's degree in nutrition from the University of Georgia.