The African Network for Sensory Evaluation Research (ANSWER) has been inaugurated. The event took place during the 13th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium, organised by Elsevier at the Edinburgh International Convention Centre, Scotland. An Executive Committee was also inaugurated, made up of Prof. Riette de Kock (South Africa) as Chair, Prof. Maame Yaakwaah Blay Adjei (Ghana) as Vice-Chair/Treasurer, Dr. Abadi Mezgebe (Ethiopia) as Secretary, Dr. Ganiyat Olatunde (Nigeria) as member (Working Groups), James Makame (Zimbabwe) as member (Marketing and Public Relations), and Amina Ahmed as member (Students).
In attendance were delegates from across the globe including the team from European Sensory Network, an international network of leading research institutions and industry partners at the cutting edge of sensory and consumer sciences. Also in attendance were graduates of the Department of Food Science and Technology, FUNAAB, who are on their PhD Studies in Sensory and Consumer Studies; Ifeanyi Okojie, School of Food Sciences and Nutrition, University of Leeds, United Kingdom; Ibironke Popoola, Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada; and Folake Idowu-Adebayo, Food Quality and Design, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands.
ANSWER is an inclusive opportunity platform to share information, access diversity, build capacity in sensory science and research in Africa. The initiative would network with the global community of researchers for technical and financial support, while also leveraging national and institutional support. ANSWER would further encourage linkage between sensory research and consumers in Africa and market research for industries. It would explore the value and applications of sensory sciences in food and non-food industrial practices.
The working groups, which would be coordinated by Dr. Ganiyat Olatunde of the Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Food Sciences and Human Ecology (COLFHEC) of FUNAAB, would be involved in capacity building, research, innovation, and industry connect. In addition to boosting sensory and consumer research in Nigeria, the representation by Dr. Olatunde is expected to offer series of opportunities to FUNAAB, such as the establishment of research facilities of international standards, as well as national and cross-border collaborations between sensory and industrial partners.