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Rights: The University of Waikato
Published 16 November 2007

Sam Heenan has always been passionate about food, and he is now discovering the science underlying the food that consumers like and dislike. What is Sam’s favourite aspect of his PhD


Sam Heenan (University of Otago)

I think it’s the learning aspect that excited me about the PhD opportunity, so carrying on learning was a big driver.

I have always associated food with having a good time, and I think that’s really important and understanding perhaps why we like food so much and trying to provide some answers to that.

Working with people is great, in terms of actually profiling foods and working with consumers and asking them their preference for foods, but also understanding how does the volatile composition of the food affect the consumer response and the objective characteristics of that food in terms of sensory characteristics.

I think my most favourite part is relating everything together and then actually applying it to a real world situation. So working in industry with that type of response has been great because I can actually see my work being used somewhere, and it’s quite exciting in terms of providing an understanding and then applying an application.