Research, partnerships and resources

At CASS, our research focuses on ascertaining how sensory sensations influence individuals, and ways in which we can improve the sustainability of our food industry. We welcome industry partnerships and the opportunity to work on commercially orientated short- or long-term projects.

Sensory and consumer science related areas

Sensory panels

Descriptive Analysis Panel
Our descriptive panel has been operational for over eight years and has provided objective flavour profiles for our industry partners. Each member of our panel has over 200 hours of training and testing experience. We have worked on fruit and vegetables, fish and seafood, meat and even toilet paper. 

Consumer Quality Panel
The panel was established in 2015 and utilises unique methodology to gain consumer insights into consumer goods. For example, we recently completed an exploratory analysis of various iced coffee currently available in Melbourne. 

CASS Consumer Database
One of our largest assets is the CASS Consumer Database, listing around 500 members. Our diverse panellists are always eager to assist in our latest research projects.

Cross-cultural consumers

Australia’s increasing export activity with Asia highlights a growing need for strong consumer insight into that market, with dairy consumption trends being of particular interest.

CASS has established strong collaborative links with research institutes throughout Asia (specifically China and Thailand) and aims to form more in the future.

Children as consumers

Children’s consumption behaviours tend to differ from adults'. Their lack of full cognitive development can make the assessment of a child’s sensory perceptions difficult.

Our CASS researchers thrive on the challenge of determining what attributes influence children’s food choices and sensory sensitivities.

Food choice and behaviours

A number of consumer and sensory science-related factors play a role in influencing the foods people eat every day. Our research investigates how and to what degree these factors influence consumer food choice, behaviour and intake.

Salt and sugar

Salt and sugar are two of the most problematic nutrients in the food supply, with overconsumption of each responsible for numerous pathologies. They're also key ingredients in foods that modify food preference.

Our research program is focussed on understanding how we perceive salt and sugar (as well as other ‘non-traditional’ tastes) and how we can decrease levels in foods without adversely affecting consumer enjoyment.

Non-traditional tastes (carbohydrates and fat)

Apart from the five basic tastes (sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami), we also focus on other ‘non-traditional’ tastes such as carbohydrates and fat.

Our research in this area is gaining rapid global interest and supporting potential new theories on current global health related issues.


All consumers tend to eat to feel fill satisfied. However, individual satiety levels are influenced by a variety of individual, environmental and psychological elements.

Our research aims to uncover how these different factors shape our individual consumption behaviours and ways in which we can alter them.

Flavour analysis

The analysis of the chemical components that make up a food aroma is important, especially when related to sensory science and consumer acceptability of foods.

Using Gas Chromatography-Olfactometry (GC-O), the chemical components of aroma can be separated and identified, and their impact on the overall flavour and aroma of a food may be identified.

We want to get it right; consumers are so much driven by what they taste and smell that not paying attention to these drivers is big risk for our company.


Industry partnerships

As our industry partner, your organisation has access to one of Melbourne’s leading bodies in sensory science. We use state-of-the-art facilitates and a team of highly skilled experts with over 50 years of combined sensory science experience spanning a variety of research areas.

Our partnership agreements span across a continuum from full collaboration to full consultancy. Contact CASS to discuss what partnership option would best suit your organisation.

Full collaboration

Where all data is shared and publishable.

Full collaborative research projects aim to address an issue of significance to both groups. Funding is sought from a research agency or government body to support the research.

The aim is for the research outcomes to impact positively on the industry partner's operations while simultaneously contributing to the University's research reputation through publication.

Full consultancy

Where all data and intellectual property is owned by the industry partner.

Full consultancy research projects are when CASS experts are contracted out to an external industry party for a commercial fee. For example, our industry partner may require access to our large consumer panel to determine a product reformulation or potential market success.

Other projects may include sensory or flavour training programs or data analysis and advice. Any intellectual property developed belongs to the industry partner.

News and resources

Keep up to date with the latest news and research conducted by CASS.

Social media



Newspaper and online articles


Vision Australia Radio – Table Talk

Professor Russell Keast discusses the topic of ‘Fat as Taste’ – 19 August 2015.

ABC News – PM with Tim Palmer

Professor Russell Keast and PhD candidate Andrew Costanzo discuss how research is finding that high fat diets change taste buds which may lead to overeating – 19 January 2016.

Contact us

Centre for Advanced Sensory Science
+61 3 9244 3753
Email CASS


Visit us
Centre for Advanced Sensory Science
School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences
Deakin University
221 Burwood Highway
Burwood VIC 3125