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Associate Professor Russell Keast is a Lecturer in the area of Sensory Science in the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences. He teaches at undergraduate and postgraduate level and also supervises higher degree students. Associate Professor Keast is a member of the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C-PAN) and is an active researcher in sensory science, with particular emphasis on how individual differences in our chemical senses (taste, smell, chemical irritation) may influence health. In addition, Associate Professor Keast is a qualified chef and his research and teaching interests overlap the emerging areas of Molecular Gastronomy and Culinology.
Course Director: Bachelor of Food Science and Nutrition.
Unit Chair HSN313 Sensory Evaluation of Food
Supervises 5 PhD students and 3 Honours students
Associate Professor Keast’s research is primarily concerned with understanding the sense of taste and the role taste sensitivity may play in development of diet-related disease.
Using sensory evaluation techniques combined with nutritional assessment, the majority of Associate Professor Keast’s published research has focused on understanding the taste system, in particular how knowledge of taste may be associated with dietary consumption and development of diet-related disease. For example, recent research has involved 1/ the role of caffeine in sugar sweetened beverages, 2/ the link between salt taste and consumption of salty foods, 3/ the existence of a sixth basic taste responsive to fat, and the role it may play in development of obesity. In addition, Associate Professor Keast has been actively involved in developing a link between chemical analysis and perceived flavour. Using a sensory directed approach to the chemical separation of foods, he co-discovered a natural non-steroidal anti-inflammatory compound in virgin olive oil.
Associate Professor Keast is initiating research linking sensory science and culinary arts (e.g. Molecular Gastronomy or Culinology), to help develop novel food products.
New Jersey Pharmaceutical Association Award for research on bitterness inhibition
Institute of Food Technologists (Professional)
Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (Professional)
Assistant Editor Journal of Food Science.
Assistant Editor Chemosensory Perception.
Member Advisory Board Australian Division World Action for Salt and Health (AWASH).
Member Food Composition Advisory Board Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Standards Australia Sensory Evaluation Committee.
Member of the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C-PAN) Executive Committee.
Keast R. 2011. ‘Taste and implication for health’ (Invited keynote presentation). Consumer and Applied Sciences Centenary Conference, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Keast R. 2011. ‘‘Salt consumption. Why do we consume so much, and the influence on CVD’ (Invited plenary presentation). Australian Cardiovascular Nursing College Conference, Melbourne.
Keast R. 2010. ‘The Future of Food’ (Invited presentation). Royal Institute of Australia as part of Tasting Australia convention, Adelaide.
Keast R. 2010. ‘Fat taste, implications for satiety’ (Invited presentation). International Life Sciences Institute -Saturated and trans fats, Sydney.
Keast R. 2009. ‘Salt, the sensory perspective’ (Invited presentation). International Life Sciences Institute - The Salt Forum, Sydney.
Keast R. 2009. ‘The taste of salt and the potential for salt reduction in foods’ (Invited presentation). The Australian Academy of Science - Salt in the diet: The elephant in the room, Sydney.