Professor Joanne Hort B.Ed. Hons, Ph.D. FIFST,
SABMiller Chair of Sensory Science
Joanne's research focuses on using sensory science and instrumental techniques to understand how we perceive flavour, especially beer flavour.
Current areas of interest include: • Crossmodal perception - how taste, aroma and mouthfeel integrate to form flavour perception • Investigating individual variation in perception e.g. supertasters and thermal tasters • Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to understand flavour perception • Measuring Emotional response to the sensory properties of beer
Joanne is SABMiller Professor of Sensory Science and Head of the International Centre for Brewing Science in the Division of Food Sciences at the University of Nottingham. Initially, she studied Food Technology and began her career in teaching. However, she returned to University to receive her doctorate concerning the modelling of the sensory attributes of cheese from analytical and instrumental measures in 1998. As a lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University she carried out sensory consultancy for local industry, developed a sensory program at undergraduate level and oversaw the installation of new sensory facilities before being appointed as Lecturer in Sensory Science at the University of Nottingham in 2002. She has since established the University of Nottingham Sensory Science Centre, which is renowned for both its sensory training and research into flavour perception and is now Head of the International Centre for Brewing Science, where she is applying her sensory expertise to study beer flavour . She delivers sensory courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level and is Course Director for the Postgraduate Certificate in Sensory Science and Postgraduate. Her research interests focus on the multi-modal aspects of flavour perception and she has published several articles in this area, together with oral presentations and posters at international Symposia. She is a founder member and Chair of the Professional Food Sensory Group of the Institute of Food Science and Technology and was on the organising committee of the 6th International Pangborn Symposium in the UK in 2005. In 2013 she was appointed Chair of the European Sensory Science Society.
Sensory Science: Multimodal perception, utilising fMRI to understand perception, individual variation in sensory response, emotional response to sensory properties.
Joanne is Director of the Postgraduate Certificate in Sensory science - a flexible part-time course design for those working in industry. She is also responsible for the Sensory module on our… read more
Before joining the Flavour group at Nottingham Joanne's doctoral research focused on the link between the material properties of dairy products and their perceived texture using rheological and… read more
Academic Community: Professor Hort is Course Director for the PGCert in Sensory Science and a Member of the Biosciences Ethics Committee. Her external roles include Editorial board member for Food Quality and Preference, Chemosensory Perception and Flavor journals
Public Engagement: Past Chair of the Professional Food Sensory Group of the UK Institute of Food Science and Technology Chair of the European Sensory Science Society
Before joining the Flavour group at Nottingham Joanne's doctoral research focused on the link between the material properties of dairy products and their perceived texture using rheological and sensory techniques. An understanding of flavour perception inevitably requires input from the sensory dimension and her appointment to the Flavour Group as Lecturer in Sensory Science, together with the opening of the purpose built Sensory Science Centre provided the opportunity to strengthen developments in the understanding of flavour perception mechanisms. Currently, our understanding of the factors that determine flavour perception are not well defined because it is affected by chemical, physiological and psychological inputs. One of the unsolved conundrums is the multi-modal nature of flavour perception. However, there is increasing evidence that our perception of flavour is affected by the more complex interactions of taste, aroma, appearance, mouthfeel and even sound. Her work with colleagues in the Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre has enabled further understanding of perception at the cortical level through the use of fMRI. Individual differences in perception are also an important consideration and her group also look at how different phenotypes, e.g prop taster status and thermal taster status, impact on cortical response and sensory perception. Our emotional response to sensory properties is also an important driver shaping our food choice decisions and this is a developing area of her research.