Food: the blind spot of nutritionists?

November 06, 2019

An interview with Dr Monica Mars, associate professor in Sensory science and eating behaviour at the division of Human Nutrition and Health of Wageningen University. She will be discussing the current Dutch diet in terms of taste and texture at the upcoming EFFoST International Conference

What is the main message of your presentation at EFFoST?
Non-nutritional properties are essential in food intake, and despite the fact that the evidence for their role in food intake is growing, more fundamental (mechanistic) data and well-designed intervention studies are needed put these food properties on the (research) agenda of nutritionists.

What challenges need to be tackled in your field to drive innovation or sustainability in the future?
Potential opportunities for cooperation between food design and nutrition research need to be exploited better. Food technologists and nutritionists need to understand each other’s needs and drivers better by talking to each other and work together towards healthy and sustainable foods.

How did you come to work in this field?
I have an MSc in Nutritional Epidemiology with a minor in Sensory science. My PhD project focussed on the physiology of food intake regulation, during that time leptin was just discovered, this was a very promising anti-obesity hormone. Since then my work has been on the understanding of food properties in satiation, satiety and food intake regulation, and the underlying physiological mechanisms.

What words of wisdom would you like to share with future food scientists? Or do you have any inspirational propositions?
Try to learn new things every day and do things outside your comfort zone.


Dr. ir. Monica Mars holds a position as an associate professor within the chair group of Sensory Science and Eating Behaviour of the section of Human Nutrition and Health at Wageningen University and Research (WUR) in the Netherlands. Her background is in nutrition. Her scientific interest is the relation between food properties, physiology, and eating behaviour. She has over 60 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals. She supervises several PhD students on various topics. Moreover, she is involved in a number of BSc and MSc courses on sensory perception of foods, food digestion and eating behaviour within the curriculum of Nutrition and Health at Wageningen University.

To stay informed of Monica Mars' work, please connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

We hope you will join us at EFFoST2019!


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