Plenary Session


Thursday, October 27  •  8:00–9:00 a.m.
Capitol Ballroom

Sweet Success in the Evolution of Product Insights

PecoreWeb.jpgSuzanne Pecore, P & D Consulting LLC

The application of sensory science in industry has evolved from the early days of conducting single, isolated tests on demand. The sensory scientist is now well integrated as a strategic business partner and plays a critical role in developing insights during the conceptual stage, development, launch and maintenance of a product. Suzanne Pecore, an accomplished sensory scientist, uses examples from her 35+ year career to demonstrate how connecting the myriad types and amount of data into cohesive insights facilitates successful product design.

Suzanne Pecore is a sensory consultant specializing in the practical application of sound sensory and consumer methodology to ensure successful product development and quality maintenance. She has over 35 years of experience as a sensory professional within the global food and beverage industry, formerly with McKesson Contract Research, The NutraSweet Company, and General Mills. Suzanne is also active in furthering the sensory profession, through her own research, development of young scientists, and leadership in professional sensory organizations (SSP, ASTM, Pangborn Symposia).


Sensory Clues Unlock Molecular Mysteries

Danielle Reed, Monell Chemical Senses Center

Sensory observations have provided essential clues to unlock mysteries of the molecular infrastructure that determine our sense of taste and smell. In 1879, after working in his chemistry laboratory all day, Constantine Fahlberg bit into a dinner-time bread roll and found that his hand was covered by a new sweet taste molecule, saccharin. This observation set off a chain of events that later led to the discovery of the sweet taste receptors. Likewise, in 1931, while working in his laboratory, chemist Arthur Fox made an accidental sensory observation that led to the discovery the bitter taste receptors.

ReedWeb.jpgDr. Danielle Renee Reed received her Ph.D. in Psychology in 1990 from Yale University, working with Judith Rodin on a collaborative project with Mark Friedman. This research focused on the role of metabolism on fat preference. She did a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied genetic variation in bitter taste and in obesity in humans with R. Arlen Price in the Department of Psychiatry. In 2000, she accepted a faculty position at Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. Dr. Reed has attained the rank of Member (equivalent to full professor) and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Monell Postdoctoral Training Program and Director of the NIH-supported Genotyping and DNA/RNA Analysis Core, which provides training and research support in genotyping and quantification of nucleic acids. She is the recipient of three NIH S10 shared equipment grants and a G20 grant from NIH to improve science infrastructure. Her independent research, funded by NIH and industry-sponsored grants, aims to understand the relationship between genotype and phenotype, both in animal models and in human subjects, focusing on obesity and food preferences, especially bitter, sweet, and sour tastes. Dr. Reed’s research contributed to the discovery of a protein now known to be the subunit of a sweet receptor (Tas1r3). She also helped to define how haplotypes of the bitter receptor TAS2R38 affect bitter taste perception and assisted in the identification of a bitter taste receptor variant associated with quinine perception. In 2008, she received the AChemS Award for Outstanding Research sponsored by International Flavors and Fragrances. Her recent work on has focused on epigenetics and gene expression of human bitter receptors and how these genes and proteins response to bacterial chemical signals. Dr. Reed has been a member of the editorial board of AChemS’s Chemical Senses since 2014 and a member of AChemS since 2001. She is a reviewer or member of NIH study sections related to chemosensation, genetics, and metabolism.

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