The first ever, state-wide Virginia Science Festival will make its debut in Blacksburg on Saturday, Oct. 4. Virginia Tech President Timothy D. Sands and Stephen Jurcyzk, director of NASA Langley Research Center, will preside over the opening ceremony for the statewide event at 9:45 a.m. at the Moss Arts Center, 190 Alumni Mall. The festival, which runs from Oct. 4 through 11, will feature events in more than a dozen communities across the state. Events will be held in Arlington, Danville, Hampton Roads, Grundy, Richmond, Roanoke, and Blacksburg to highlight Virginia’s growing influence as a hub of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics research and education.
Food is one of the most provoking sensory experiences that we take part in every day. If asked to think of your favorite comfort food, do you imagine the texture of creamy mac and cheese or the aroma of mom’s apple pie coming fresh out of the oven? And if asked your least favorite food, you are probably cringing with disgust remembering an overcooked dish that was less than appetizing. While you might not give much thought to all of the food you consume, the food you eat is all that food scientists think about. Part of the role of food scientists is to study the reactions consumers have to different food products through sensory science.
The Department of Food Science & Technology is excited to announce and open house for their state-of-the-art sensory laboratory. This open house will take place as part of the Virginia Science Festival on Oct. 4, 2014. It will be held at the new HABB1 building, room 205, at 1230 Washington St SW from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Everyone is welcome to come and participate in this interactive event including faculty, staff, students, friends, and family members!
You will get a behind-the-scenes look at how sensory evaluation takes place including the new video technology used to evaluate facial expression and emotional responses to food. Attendees can participate in a mock sensory panel and experience the setting of a focus group. There will also be interactive stations such as the ‘Spice Rack Aroma Challenge’ where you can test your own sensory skills. Make sure to sign up to become a sensory panelist and participate in future sensory tests held at Virginia Tech. Sensory evaluation is an integral part of food science and this open house will allow members of the community to find out more and play an active role in the cutting edge of food science research. There will be opportunities for some free food samples and a grand prize drawing! We hope to see you on Oct. 4!
Susan Duncan is one of several CALS researchers who will be presenting their work at the festival. A full list of events and locations can be found at the festival web page.