Evolution and Flavour

Thursday November 15th

19:45 live music by Katrin Ebbert
20:15 speakers
Café Loburg

We all have a particular preference for some foods and beverages; a preference that is determined by various factors such as taste, smell, colour and texture of the food product. Interesting, also psychological factors play a role in the perception of food. Clearly the food and drinks we consume today are quite different from those in our cave(wo)man days. This development is not just due to human efforts in processing foods, we did get some help of friendly microbes. These microbes create flavour by a process we call fermentation. But what is flavour? How does it evolve? And how do we really decide on which food items we like and which not? These questions (and more) will be addressed in this Science cafe. Our two speakers, Prof. Eddy Smid and Dr. Garmt Dijksterhuis, will discuss how microbes evolved to create specific flavours and how we as humans perceive flavours.

Prof. Eddy Smid is professor in Food Microbiology at Wageningen University. He is specialised in food fermentation and focuses on the microbial ecology of food fermentations with the aim to steer the functionality of fermented food products. To do so he applies biodiversity mining and adaptive evolution strategies. In his lecture, he will focus on the role of yeast in aroma formation during beer making and the domestication of beer yeast.

Dr. Garmt Dijksterhuis is Expertise Leader/Senior Scientist in Consumer Science at the Food & BioBased Research Institute of Wageningen University and Research. He is a psychological scientist focussing on multisensory perception, consumer (food) choice, and sensometrics. He is one of the founders of the Sensometric society which brings together statisticians, psychologists, sensory scientists and market researchers, with a shared interest in the design and analysis of studies focused on responses to the sensorial properties of products.

Exploring and discussing science with professionals, funky music and a drink.