6:00 – 7:30 PM – Live Speaker Presentation
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Sensory science as a discipline was founded around the late 1930s with industrialization and commercialization of goods, which increased competition in the market place. The need to produce goods that satisfied the consumers’ desires was the impetus of hedonic testing.
In the past few decades, Sensory Science has evolved from being an afterthought of product development to a fuzzy front end and core principle process required to be an integral part of product development. More current body of knowledge in Sensory Science involves revolutionary and creative ideas such as immersive technology, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.
My history as a sensory scientist evolved in a very similar trajectory as the discipline itself. Trained as a food engineer, I embarked on becoming a researcher through my doctoral training at the University of California at Davis. This was where I was first exposed to Sensory Science. It was an eye-opening experience to learn that there is a discipline that uses subjective human perceptions and transform it to objective scientific measurements.
Early years of my research career as a Sensory Scientist with foundational training in Food Science was mostly focused on understanding the food systems as we alter them with ingredients and processing methods. It is still the focal point of my research portfolio; however, more recently, I have delved into the unknowns of human behavior, i.e., behavioral aspects of picky eating.
Truly a leap of faith in embarking on a field in which I have no expertise, it has been an exciting experience of discovery, as we connect the dots of how food influences eating behaviors, and tying it back to the unique predisposition stemming from different genetic make-up of human subjects; my journey of Sensory Science evolution-revolution.
Soo-Yeun Lee (Soo) is a Professor in the department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is an accomplished scholar whose work in the area of Sensory Science has achieved national and international stature, as recognized by IFT with the Samuel Cate Prescott Award in 2011.
Her research focuses on utilizing innovative sensory methodology to develop health-targeted new product alternatives so as to promote lifelong healthful eating habits. She has over 90 publications and garnered about $9 Million as PI and co-PI.
Soo has also been recognized as an educator with many national teaching awards, such as North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Teacher Fellow Award, NIFA/USDA Food and Agricultural Sciences Excellence in College and University Regional Teaching Award, and IFT William V. Cruess Award.
She is an active member of IFT, having served as the Chair of the Sensory and Consumer Sciences Division, a member of the Annual Meeting Scientific Programming Advisory Panel, and a Director of the Board. She is currently serving as one of the Associate Editors for the Journal of Food Science.
Soo received her doctorate from UC Davis and her bachelor’s degree from Yonsei University in Korea. She is married to a Food Engineer, who is also a faculty at the University of Illinois, and they have two beautiful children and four lovable cats making their home a party of eight.