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New affiliated professor brings advanced sensory science methods to innovation in food quality

Professor Hildegarde Heymann from University of California Davis is now an Honorary Professor in ‘Advanced Sensory Methodologies for Innovation in Food Quality’ at the Department of Food Science at Aarhus University.

16.08.2019 | Camilla Mathiesen

Professor Hildegarde Heymann from University of California Davis is now an Honorary Professor in ‘Advanced Sensory Methodologies for Innovation in Food Quality’ at the Department of Food Science at Aarhus University.

With the appointment of Professor Hildegarde Heymann from University of California Davis as Honorary Professor in ‘Advanced Sensory Methodologies for Innovation in Food Quality’ at the Department of Food Science at Aarhus University with effect from 1 August 2019, the Department of Food Science will strengthen its already existing ties with University of California Davis and continue to develop its leading international research profile in sensory science. The appointment will be for a five-year period.

Hildegarde Heymann is the world leading expert in the field of sensory science methods and food quality. Her research interests lie in applying the latest insights in measurement methodologies concerning the multisensory nature of human food perception in everything from the design of food to fundamental improvement of these methods and application of data analysis to human perception contexts and food quality development for healthier eating.

-Professor Heymann is a sensory scientist who questions the fundamentals and seeks to understand what others take as given and do not investigate further in the human senses and food quality area. Thus, Professor Heymann continues to challenge and push for the fundamentals of sensory science to be continually explored and validated, says Professor Derek V. Byrne, science leader of Food Quality Perception and Society group at Department of Food Science at Aarhus University.

 Professor Byrne and his team have had a long term research association with Hildegarde Heymann and through this appointment intend to strengthen the scientific synergy between University of California Davis (UC Davis) and Department of Food Science at Aarhus (AU-FOOD). This collaboration will be based on a close alignment of complementary research focuses and ideas in the areas of advanced sensory methodologies, data analytical methods in sensory contexts and the integration of human perception in food design and future quality definition of products for healthy eating across the affiliation period.

 In terms of product focus’ and industry relevance Professor Heymann has worked in all areas of sensory science and has evaluated numerous food and non-food products including wine, meat, dairy, cereals, juices, as well as non-food products. At UC Davis Professor Heymann has also worked on spirits such as gin, mescal, tequila and whiskies, food-wine interactions, wine colour perception, fruit such as raisins, melons, tomatoes and figs to name but a few. Additionally, she is working with her Viticulture and Enology colleagues on the sensory evaluation of grapes and wines at UC Davis. Hildegarde Heymann has also wide research links across the world, from European to emerging market laboratories and research institutes.

 Professor Heymann has  been active in Sensory Science since 1982. Over her career she has published more than 200 peer reviewed articles and book chapters and authored and edited several seminal sensory text books. For example she is the co-author with Harry T. Lawless from Cornell University, of the sensory textbook Sensory Evaluation of Foods: Principles and Practices, currently the most prescribed sensory textbook worldwide. Moreover, Professor Heymann has received many awards over her career most recently the IFT Sensory and Consumer Science Division Achievement Award, in the United States and the Elsevier Established Researcher Award at the 11th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium, in Sweden.

-I am very excited at the opportunity this appointment affords in working in synergy with the University of Aarhus and the FQS Team in sensory and consumer science to strengthen our research applicability to the Danish food industry through new sensory methodologies. I also have an keen interest in involvement in the Danish food cluster to spread the word on the critical nature of sensory science in applicable and successful food innovation linked to the new location of The Department of Food Science at Aarhus, says Professor Heymann.

 Michelle Williams, Head of the Department of Food Science, is very pleased to welcome Hildegarde Heymann to the Department:

 - The Department’s strategy is to continually strengthen its international research profile. In order to deliver on this we are affiliating key collaborators who have been identified as important for the profile and future growth of AU-FOOD. Hildegarde is an acknowledged international leader in sensory and consumer research and I believe that Hildegarde will complement our knowledge in the area and our ability to hold a leading position, based on her synergistic expertise in advanced sensory methodologies.


For more information please contact:

Head of Department Michelle Williams, Department of Food Science, telephone: +45 8715 7957/8715 8335, mobile: +45 2517 0049, e-mail: mw@food.au.dk


Professor Hildegarde Heymann, Sensory Science, Department of Viticulture and Enology, University of California at Davis, hheymann@ucdavis.edu.

DCA, Food, DCA medarbejdernyhed, Institut for Fødevarer