Dr. Rebecca Ford (Becki) is a researcher and lecturer in Sensory Science at the Division of Food Sciences, University of Nottingham. Becki studied food science leading to a role developing delicious new food products for leading supermarkets. During this time she became fascinated by the complexity of sensory perception and decided to return to University to study for a doctorate in Multi-Modal Flavour Perception. Becki's multi-disciplinary PhD investigated the flavour of beer using instrumental/analytical measures, descriptive sensory methods and functional magnetic resonance brain imaging (fMRI). She has since gained experience in industry measuring the sensory properties of non-food consumer goods and has trained high impact taste and odour panels in a variety of sectors. Since returning to academia, Becki's research interests include investigating; taste perception (using fMRI); individual variation in sensory perception, taste cell signaling, multimodal flavour perception, oral somatosensation and beer flavour perception.
Becki is course director for the Post-Graduate Certificate in Sensory Science and contributes to teaching at undergraduate and post-graduate level.
Becki is a member of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST), committee member of the IFST's Sensory Science Group, member of the European Sensory Science Society (E3S) and E3S taste sensitivity working group member.
Dr Rebecca Ford is course director for the Post-Graduate Certificate in Sensory Science and is module convenor for Sensory Science modules at undergraduate and post-graduate level. She is also… read more
Current research investigates:
- taste representation in the primary gustatory cortex using high resolution functional magnetic resonance brain imaging (fMRI) at ultra-high field strength (7T), to map fine gustotopic (taste) representations in the brain.
- individual variation in taste phenotype, genotype and phantom thermal taste
- mouthfeel perception and individual variation in oral somatosensation
- taste cell signalling
I am currently recruiting for an exciting fully funded PhD studentship studying the perception of body in alcoholic drinks. Please see link for more details: https://www.findaphd.com/search/ProjectDetails.aspx?PJID=83540&LID=1202
HORT, J, FORD, R, ELDEGHAIDY, S and FRANCIS, S.T, 2016. Thermal taster status: Evidence of cross modal
integration Human Brain Mapping. CLARK, R, LINFORTH, R, BEALIN-KELLY, F and HORT, J, 2011. Effects of ethanol, carbonation and hop acids on
volatile delivery in a model beer system. Journal of the Institute of Brewing.. 117(1), 74-81
CLARK, R, HEWSON, L, BEALIN-KELLY, F and HORT, J, 2011. The interactions of CO2, ethanol, hop acids and
sweetener on flavour perception in a model beer Chemosensory Perception. 4, 42-54
My PhD thesis was titled 'Multi-modal flavour perception: the effect of bitterness, sweetness, alcohol content and carbonation level on flavour perception'. My research encompassed
- instrumental analysis of flavour to investigate physico-chemical matrix interactions,
- use of sensory techniques to understand sensory perception
- functional magnetic resonance brain imaging (fMRI) to explore cortical response to flavour - in particular, carbonation.
In addition, I advanced knowledge in the area of individual variation in taste perception by investigating sensory and cortical differences with PROP and thermal taste phenotype.
I am interested in multidisciplinary research investigating:
- taste cell signalling
- oral somatosensation,
- individual variation in taste perception impacting nutritional status,
- beer flavour perception