On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of The Journal of Texture Studies, this scientific journal has recognized Susana Fieszman as a reference in the science of food and Laura Laguna as "rising star". Both carry out their research at the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology of the CSIC, located in the University of Valencia Science Park.
The Journal of Texture Studies, specialized in the diffusion of scientific advances in the physical characterization and the sensory perception of the texture, has recognized five researchers, for their "outstanding contributions in either the scientific understanding of food texture or in the application of food texture theory and knowledge to solve texture issues concerned by industries and consumers." Among the selected references, is Susana Fiszman, a researcher at the Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology of the CSIC (IATA-CSIC).
Fiszman, PhD in Chemistry from the University of Valencia (1982), has dedicated her professional life to the study of the properties of food texture, focusing on how to create and modify food structures. A specific area in which she has worked in recent years is the relationship between texture and expected perceptions of satiety and satiation, since these sensations are directly related to how food is processed in the mouth and to the exposure time.
She has also studied temporal aspects of food texture, from the initial mechanical properties when the food piece is intact to particle size and shape, the aggregation of the increasingly destroyed food structure in the mouth, and the evolving properties of the bolus through to swallowing, which are key issues for the texture construct.
Dr. Fiszman has authored over 180 refereed research papers and reviews. She collaborates regularly on editing books in her subject area and participates actively in national and international conferences in her field of expertise. In addition, she has taught numerous courses and worked with a number of companies on subjects of common interest, mostly addressing texture‐related solutions. Susana Fiszman is Associate Editor of Food Hydrocolloids and a member of the editorial board of Food Research International, two of the most prestigious journals in the field of food science and technology. She is currently also a member of several prestigious international expert panels.
"In her opinion, reaching a full understanding of the consumption process and the mechanisms that control it will assist in defining strategies to design products that meet the needs of specific consumer groups. These mechanisms are key factors in our eating experience and sensory perception, which are directly related to health and wellbeing," the journal underlined.
Along with these referents, The Journal of Texture Studies has also highlighted the work carried out by seven young researchers and researchers, such as Laura Laguna. Despite relatively early in their scientific career, "all award receivers have made recognizable contributions to the development of the discipline and have shown their talents and potential to grow in future", assures the journal.
While studying for her Degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Laura Laguna completed her undergraduate project in the department of Sensory and Physics food properties at IATA, where she researched the influence of time on banana texture, relating it with consumer perception. This investigative line of texture drove her to keep studying for a degree in Food Science. Following this, Laura started her PhD studying the texture of reformulated bakery products to help understand texture evolution during the in‐mouth food oral processing.
Her interest in food texture and oral processing pushed her to apply for a post‐doc position at the University of Leeds (UK). There she aimed to explore the link between food textures with the new concept of “Eating Capability” to represent the individual's abilities for food consumption. She found a link between food texture properties and physical abilities of the individuals, relating it to their food perception and liking. Further, she worked on the influence of texture complexity to control oral residence time.
Through her research, Laura Laguna has gained skills in techniques, such as tribology, and achieved a “Juan de la Cierva‐Formación” postdoctoral grant to study in the Food Science Research (CIAL) in Madrid. There she led her own investigation into wine mouthfeel with an integrative approach, usually overlooked, combining instrumental techniques (tribology, viscosity, hydrodynamic saliva diameter, TEM) and sensory techniques. Thanks to this, she found how different wine components interact with saliva and contribute to wine texture perception (body, astringency, etc.). In April 2018, Laura Laguna returned to IATA‐CSIC, where she focuses on studying the food oral trajectory by using a new consumer science approach.