CSIRO’s sensory, flavour and consumer science expertise is unique in that it integrates flavour science, objective sensory science and consumer acceptance and food choices.

We aim to understand the influences on sensory perception and eating behaviour and to use this knowledge to influence food quality, human health and well-being.

We investigate sensory perception and use this knowledge to influence food quality. © CSIRO, Carl Davies

How we help the food industry with sensory and consumer science

We help companies:

  • determine the sensory properties of food products for optimal consumer acceptance of specific markets and consumer segments
  • maximise consumers' perceived quality of food products by determining optimal relationships between the consumer, product, and sensory and flavour variables
  • reformulate foods while maintaining consumer acceptance by understanding the impact of reduction of fat, salt or sugar on flavour and texture of foods
  • optimise a food's flavour by identifying and measuring the sensory impact of volatile and non-volatile compounds present in the food
  • problem-solve off-flavours and taints in foods and packaging
  • characterise temporal differences in flavour release in foods in real-time using trained and consumer taste panels.

Our key resources for industry in sensory and consumer science

Key CSIRO resources available to industry include:

  • dedicated sensory laboratory, with ten individual testing booths, fully equipped kitchen and automated data acquisition software
  • screened and trained sensory panel of 24 external assessors
  • expertise in sensory methodologies including sensory descriptive evaluation, difference tests, sorting tasks and different dynamic measures of perception (including time intensity and discrete interval time intensity)
  • consumer acceptance expertise and facilities for adults and children and the ability to conduct cross-cultural consumer acceptance research in Asia and through our membership of the European Sensory Network
  • consumer acceptance methodologies including consumer sensory acceptance research, preference mapping, conjoint analysis and dynamics of acceptance
  • unique, fundamental custom-built stimulus delivery, with unique combined gustometry and olfactometry
  • dedicated food preparation and presentation laboratory for flavour research
  • quarantine approved lab (PC1) that allows for import of food products from overseas.

Our analytical expertise supporting our sensory research includes:

  • gas chromatography - olfactometry
  • proton transfer reaction – mass spectrometry
  • gas chromatography – mass spectrometry
  • high performance liquid chromatography – taste dilution analysis.

To discuss sensory and consumer science opportunities for your business, contact

Welcome to CSIRO's food innovation centre

Welcome to CSIRO's food innovation centre

[Music plays and CSIRO logo and text appears: Welcome to CSIRO’s food innovation centre]

[Images flash through of people selecting food from fridges and shelves in a supermarket]

Narrator: Consumer demand for healthy, convenient, new and safe food products is rising and market growth in the Asian region is booming.

More than ever manufacturing innovation is critical for the Australian food industry to capture these opportunities and be globally competitive.

[Image changes to show the outside of the CSIRO Food Innovation Centre Melbourne and then image changes to show employees looking at food samples of cheese and then the camera zooms in on a sample of cheese]

At our Food Innovation Centre we work with the food and beverage manufacturing industry to meet these opportunities and add value to their business.

[Images flash through of an employee looking at a sample, operating a computer, the computer screen, a heat shrink bag, a tube being filled with white liquid, an employee looking at a computer screen, the computer screen display, an employee filling a tube with bottles of juice and placing the tube inside a machine, a computer screen display and an employee emptying the tube]

We help companies innovate by creating next generation value added food products and ingredients, improving operating efficiencies, licensing ready to go technologies, making industry connections and adopting and developing new technologies and applications for safer, fresher, healthier and sustainably produced foods and more.

[Image changes to show an employee climbing up some stairs carrying a bag of maize polenta and then the camera shows employees watching a machine in use and then the camera zooms in on their faces]

In the last few years we’ve helped our clients create hundreds of millions of dollars in new food product and ingredient sales locally and in export markets.

[Image changes to show an employee operating the touch screen on a machine and then the image changes to show a machine with lots of tubes and the camera pans up the machine to the top]

This includes more than 25 new products in the retail market nationally.

[Image changes to show an employee operating a machine and then images flash through of different manufacturing machinery]

Companies are invited to use our manufacturing equipment to develop and launch new products into the market or collaborate with us strategically on breakthrough technologies.

[Image changes to show an outside view of the CSIRO facility in Brisbane and text appears: Brisbane]

[Image changes to show employees working with packaged meat and then the camera zooms in on a female writing on a clipboard, employees inspecting the meat, employees cutting a sample from the meat and an employee putting meat inside a machine]

Through our facilities in Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney we have the most significant and extensive food innovation expertise available in Australia.

[Images flash through of an employee operating a machine]

Our pilot plants are unique facilities with a mix of conventional and emerging technologies supported by world class science.

[Image changes to show three female employees walking down a corridor and text appears: Sydney]

[Images flash through of an employee pouring juice, trying a sample, a computer screen display and a female employee operating machinery]

Our expertise in sensory, flavour, consumer science and food choices is unique helping companies develop new or redefine their existing products.  We help industry manage their food safety and product shelf life and meet food safety regulations in export markets.

[Image changes to show three employees inspecting a dough sample and then the camera zooms in on an employee pulling a sample from the dough and tasting it]

We’re also helping Australian food companies meet the rapidly growing demand in Asia for high value products.

[Image changes to show an employee operating a computer with two display screens and then the camera zooms in on one of the screen displays]

Our researchers help companies reformulate to reduce salt, sugar and fat and develop fortified products with functional health benefits while still meeting the taste preferences of consumers.

[Image changes to show an outside view of the CSIRO in Adelaide and then the image changes to show a male walking through the door and speaking to the receptionist and then the camera zooms in on the paper he is writing on]

We also work with manufacturers to substantiate food and ingredient health claims with expertise in lab scale analysis through to human nutrition trials.

[Images flash through of two people at computers, a person lying down, a computer screen display, a female pouring liquid and a female operating a computer and then the camera zooms in on the liquid being poured and the female operating the computer screen]

Whether you’re a small company with a novel idea or a large one looking to outsource key R and D services companies benefit every day from partnering with CSIRO.

[Camera zooms in on the computer screen and then the camera zooms in on the female employee]

It all starts with a conversation.

[Image changes and CSIRO logo and text appears: Big ideas start here, csiro.au/on]

Welcome to CSIRO's food innovation centre for industry :  Find out how CSIRO's food innovation centre helps food and ingredient manufacturers

Do business with us to help your organisation thrive

We partner with small and large companies, government and industry in Australia and around the world.

Contact us

Have a question? Contact us using the form below, or call 1300 363 400 during business hours .

Your contact details

First name must be filled in

Your enquiry*

We'll need to know what you want to contact us about so we can give you an answer.