sensory science and development of healthy eating habits in children

Time period: 2018-12-01 to 2019-11-30

Project leader: Pernilla Sandvik

Funder: Forte

Type of award: International cooperation

Total fundning: 117 000 SEK

I´m a postdoc at the Department of Food Studies, Nutrition and Dietetics, Uppsala University, and also affiliated with the Division of Paediatrics, CLINTEC, Karolinska Institutet. After my dissertation (2017) I´ve focused my research on the importance of early experiences in the development of healthy eating habits, with the emphasis on sensory and taste preferences and my future goal is to start my own research group on this topic.  As a junior researcher, experience from a world-leading research environment would strongly contribute to my future development. I’m therefore grateful to have received an invitation from Dr. Julie Mennella at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, USA. Now, I’m seeking  financial support for a 3-months research visit at Monell, the world´s premier research institute for research on our taste and sense of smell and its importance to health. Dr. Mennela´s laboratory is in the forefront of research on children´s taste and smell perception and its connection to healthy eating habits. One of her current research projects that I have the opportunity to participate in is about perception and preferences for sweet taste in 3-6 year olds. The project is a collaboration with Professor Jennifer Fisher at Temple University. Fisher is an internationally leading researcher in children´s eating, nutrition and parenting. During my stay, I will also spend time in her laboratory. I will be trained to do sensory tests with children, participate in courses and seminars at Monell, Temple University, University of Pennsylvania and Children´s Hospital of Philadelphia. The stay will contribute methodological knowledge that will be applied in research at my home institution as well as establishing contacts with world-leading researchers in sensory, public health and pediatrics.