Sensory Science Centre

Consumer perception is driven by the sensory characteristics of products as experienced by all five senses: sight, smell, taste, touch and sound. Therefore, sensory evaluation is an essential tool for optimising consumer acceptance of food products and is vital in gaining an understanding of how we perceive flavour, taste and texture in food.

In 2008, the University of Reading and the independent market research group MMR Research Worldwide Ltd launched the Sensory Science Centre in the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences. Based in the recently upgraded sensory facility in the Department, the collaboration provides high quality sensory evaluation data for MMR's food, drink and healthcare clients and the University's research and teaching programmes. The trained panel is managed directly by MMR's Sensory Manager, Phiala Mehring, working in close collaboration with Prof Lisa Methven (Professor in Food and Sensory Science) and Dr Stella Lignou (Lecturer in Sensory and Consumer Science) at the University.

Who we are

Professor Lisa Methven - Professor in Food and Sensory Science

Dr Stella Lignou - Lecturer in Sensory and Consumer Science

Dr Stephanie Bull - Postdoctoral Teaching and Research Fellow

Dr Bola Oloyede - Postdoctoral Research Associate

Ms Erin Wallace - Research Assistant

Mrs Suzanne Mouring - Teaching and Research Technician

What we deliver

The Sensory Science Centre provides high quality research needed to address food industry challenges, helping to improve your existing products or create new products through innovative research.


The Centre offers two separate suites of 16 and 12 state-of-the-art booths designed according to ISO standards with controlled lighting, ventilation and temperature. The Compusense platform is used to support our research. The Centre has a separate training room perfect for panel discussions and training. A fully equipped kitchen is also available for the preparation of the samples.


The Centre uses a panel of professional sensory assessors in collaboration with MMR, all recruited from the local community, who have been trained to evaluate the taste qualities of a wide range of products.

A wide range of volunteers is also available for studies that require large numbers of untrained panelists.

Collaborative partners

In addition to our services in sensory and consumer area, we have strong links and partnerships with other university units that may also be beneficial to your business.

University Partners:

  - The Flavour Centre

  - The Food Processing Centre

Contact us

If you would like more information, please contact us:

Prof Lisa Methven, email:, tel. 0118 378 8714, or

Dr Stella Lignou, email:, tel. 0118 378 8717



Contact Us

Professor Lisa Methven

Dr Stella Lignou


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