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Sensory Scientist

Who is a Sensory Scientist?

  • Sensory scientists conduct testing, as well as, research to assist and guide their companies to develop new products, mostly beverage and food products.

  • The aim is to ascertain what the customers’ desire and what they are willing to purchase.

What does a Sensory Scientist do?

  • A sensory scientist’s key role is to use the senses of trained and chosen trained human subjects for the identification of the perceptible food traits and to quantify the level of their intensities.

  • These scientists use various types of test methodologies, which provide details of how the human senses perceive the products.

  • The FMCG industry, in particular, is highly appreciative of the sensory perception towards food quality and has a huge demand for these specialists these days. 

  • The sensory evaluation uses test methods that provide information on how products are perceived through the senses.

  • The importance of sensory perception of food quality is widely appreciated in the food industry, providing a demand for such specialists.

Who can become a sensory scientist?

For entry requirements, you must have cleared class 12th with Science. Physics, Chemistry and at least one of Math and Biology are sufficient for getting into an undergraduate degree or Related Discipline.

What are the skills required?

If you wish to make a career as a sensory scientist, you have to begin your career from a junior-level like a research assistant or a laboratory technician. Typically, the candidates require a bachelor’s degree in fields such as food science, food technology, biochemistry, biology, chemistry, or other related subjects. 

Some of the major skills required by sensory scientists are as follows:

  • Technical skills as they should be highly proficient with the knowhow of technical sensory measurement methodologies like magnetic resonance imaging and mass spectrometry

  • Observation skills

  • Excellent communication skills

  • Data-analysis skills

  • Critical thinking skills

Top colleges offering courses on Sensory Science

If you wish to become a sensory scientist in India, we recommend you to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Food Technology. It is a mix of food science, engineering, home science, and hotel management.

In India, B. Sc. In Food Technology is all about an advanced course on various processing methods and technology required for the production, manufacturing, researching, developing, processing, preserving, and producing food and relevant substances.

The following are some of the top universities and colleges offering a B.Sc. degree in Food technology in India:

Top Colleges offering a degree in Food Technology

  • NIMS University, Jaipur

  • NIIT University, Neemrana

  • Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology 

  • Calicut University

  • Andhra University

  • Allahabad State University

Popular Colleges offering a degree in Food Technology

  • Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science

  • Andhra Loyola College

  • Baba Farid Institute of Technology, Dehradun

  • DGMMES Mampad College, Kerala

  • IFTM University, Moradabad

  • ITM University, Gwalior

  • Parul University, Vadodara

What is the Career scope for sensory scientists in India?

When you get a bachelor’s, as well as, a master’s degree and have relevant work experience, you can apply in different job openings in the food regulation, distribution, or manufacturing industry. You will be able to work in various areas and positions such as:

  • In sales and marketing positions

  • Development of new products and process development and research

  • Regulatory positions in government agencies

  • Supervisory or managerial positions of regulation, inspection, and quality assurance

  • Teaching and research positions in several post-secondary institutions but you should then need a doctoral degree in food or sensory science. 

How much does a Sensory Scientist make?

When a person completes his bachelor’s degree in Food Technology and joins as a sensory scientist, he/she earns between Rs 2.5 lacs and 3 lacs every year on an average. 

However, once they gain experience and have completed their masters, their starting salary can be in the range of Rs 3 lac and 4 lac annually.

What are the Books and study material available?

You can refer these books for becoming a good sensory scientist:

  • The Science of Good Cooking- by Cook's Illustrated Magazine [2012 Edition]

  • The Third Plate: Field Notes on the Future of Food 

  • How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease 

  • Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Cooks, and Good Food 2nd Edition-by Jeff Potter

  • Food Microbiology Laboratory 1st Edition-by Lynne McLandsborough

  • The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science- by  J. Kenji López-Alt

Major recruiters

Check out some of the top organizations who hire sensory scientists in India:

  • International Flavors & Fragrances India Ltd

  • PepsiCo

  • The Coca-Cola

  • ITC Limited

  • Hindustan Unilever Limited

  • Colgate-Palmolive

  • Nestlé

  • Parle Agro

  • Britannia Industries Limited

  • Procter & Gamble

Interesting fact

Synesthetes may hear colors, smell noises, taste shapes, and even feel flavors.