Flaveur, Food Oral Processing et Perception (FFOPP)

Photo équipe 1


F. Canon, G. Feron, H. Labouré, Y. Le Fur, M. Morzel, E. Neyraud, M. Schwartz, C. Sinding, T. Thomas Danguin, A. Tromelin.

enginneers and technicians

H. Brignot, N. Dumont, C. Follot, F. Hyvrier, J-L. Le Quéré, G. Maillard, M. Nardou, C. Septier, M. Simon, C. Tournier.

PhD students

C. Aveline, T. Delompré, M. Ibarlucea, Y. Ma, C. Nivet, M. Santoyo Zedillo, M. Wang.


A. Godet, S. Le Guénédal.

Our research group explores the mechanisms at the origin of sensory perception of foods using different approaches.
A molecular approach is conducted to identify and characterise odorant molecules and to understand their interaction with macromolecules of food or saliva, in simple or complex systems.
A psychophysical approach is used to understand the representation of mixtures of odorants and multimodal interactions.
A neurobiological approach is conducted to identify cerebral, sensitive and cognitive mechanisms of food mental representation. A biomechanical approach is applied to understand in vivo release mechanisms of flavour compounds in the mouth during food mastication, taking into account interindividual variability of physiological parameters, and to validate their impact by in vitro studies with a chewing simulator.
A biochemical and molecular approach is conducted to understand the role of saliva in sensory perception and consumer behaviour, more specifically by studying enzymatic activities, proteome, peptidome and metabolome.

Key words : Flavour, release, food, saliva, perceptive interactions, molecular structure, biochemistry, physiology.

Thematic : our aim is to better understand the mechanisms leading to the release of flavour compounds during food consumption and their impact on global sensory perception.

Research group in detail Open all the tabs

Our main objectives are to explore the mechanisms at the origin of and influencing food mental representation in human. The studied mechanisms are the following: food composition and structure, food bolus formation, oral physiology, in-mouth molecular interactions involving flavour stimuli, mixture effects and multimodal interactions at the nervous central level.

Theme 1 : Sensory properties of flavour stimuli alone and in mixture (odorants, taste and trigeminal compounds), multimodal interactions

  • - Identification of the key compounds of food flavour
  • - Representation of mixtures of odorants (elemental versus configural perception)
  • - Understanding the mechanisms involved in multimodal interactions (physico-chemical, cognitive)

Theme 2 : Retention/release mechanisms of flavour stimuli (odour, taste) and their perception as a function of food and individual

  • - Role of oral physiological parameters and of their interindividual variability on food breakdown and flavour release
  • - Relationships between kinetics of in vivo flavour release and temporal perception
  • - Dissociate and prioritise in-mouth mechanims by in vitro approaches (chewing simulator, saliva reactor)
  • - Role of specific salivary proteins and enzymes in flavour release from food bolus and perception

Theme 3 : Molecular interactions between flavour compounds and biological targets

  • - Retention/release mechanisms of aroma compounds in food matrix (including with saliva) by molecular properties
  • - Interactions between flavour compounds and purified and well characterized salivary proteins, alone or in mixture
  • - Interactions between flavour compounds and oral mucosa

Theme 4 : Modulation of oral physiological parameters (stimulation, age, environment)

  • - Effect of salivary composition (proteins, enzymes) on food bolus formation
  • - Variability in saliva properties in relation to sensory variability (perception, preferences)
  • - Sources of biological variability: sensory stimulations, age, diet…

Analytical chemistry

analysis of flavour molecules and their in vivo and in vitro release.

Sensory analysis

perception of food and flavour compounds mixtures.


bucco-nasal cavity physiology and its functionalities (mastication, salivation, swallowing, …).


multivariate satistics, multibloc approaches, supervised and no-supervised classification.


mecanisms of multisensory integration.


salivary compounds involved in perception .

Food sciences

impact of food composition and structure on perception.

Tools in silico

Structure-activity and structure-property relationships studies of odorant molecules: QSAR/QSPR (Quantitative Structure-Activities/Properties Relationships) and 3D-QSAR models generations. Softwares: Discovery Studio (Accelrys-Biovia), Canvas (Schrödinger) QSARINS (QSAR-INSUBRIA).

Méthodologie in silico

Tools in vitro

The chewing simulator allows to reproduce the main functions of the oral cavity during oral processing for solid foods from data measured in vivo, it can be coupled with tools allowing measuring on-line flavour release as for example a mass spectrometer.

Méthodologie in vitro

A salivary reactor allows simulating saliva action during oral processing for liquid or semi-solid food products.

Méthodologie in vitro

Tools in vivo

Mouth movements and chewing activity are followed in 3D cinematic and by electromyography to extract relevant real time parameters.

Méthodologie in viv


Oral and nasal volumes are measured with a rhinopharyngometer.

Méthodologie in vivo


Different systems have been specifically developed for young children chewing behaviour.

Méthodologie in viv


Cerebral mechanisms for flavour perception are registered with electroencephalography coupled to a gustatometer delivering drinks.

Méthodologie in viv

Human model

our studies involve healthy subjects and specific populations (elderly people and young children).

In vitro

- Simulation of oral processing using a chewing simulator or a saliva reactor
- Modelisation of the surface of the oral cavity using an oral mucosa cell line

In silico

Generation of molecular models on odorant molecules to understand et predict structure activity relationships ; network generation ; knowledge organisation.

European Project TeRiFiQ (2012 – 2015) : Combining Technologies to achieve significant binary Reductions in sodium, Fat and Sugar content in everyday foods whilst optimising their nutritional Quality.

TeRiFiQ aims to achieve significant binary reductions in sodium-fat and fat-sugar content of the most frequently consumed food products around Europe whilst at the same time ensuring the products’ nutritional and sensorial qualities, safety and affordability for both industry and consumers.

European Project SALAMANDER (2017 – 2020): SALivAry bioMarkers of mediterraneAN Diet associated with long-tERm protection against type 2 diabetes mellitus.

The SALAMANDER project aims at identifying and validating salivary signatures indicative of healthy dietary choices (adherence to a Mediterranean diet) with a positive long-term health outcome (protection against type 2 diabetes mellitus).

ANR AlimaSSens (2015-2018) : Toward offering healthy food products better adapted to elderly people.

AlimaSSenS aims (1) to understand the impact of age-related changes in oral status on FOP and their consequences on eating pleasure and the bioavailability of nutrients (2) to develop food products adapted to the FOP capacities of the elderly while taking into account the context of the meal and the purchase practices inside this population.

ANR Muffin (2015-2017) : MUcosal salivary Film & Flavor Interactions.

MUFFIN proposes to elucidate the molecular basis of interactions between food constituents and the mucosal pellicle, focusing on two sensory modalities: astringency and aroma perception.

FUI Remus (2014-2017) : redevelop seniors muscles.

This project aims to propose a complete solution to prevent and take care of muscular desorders which impact mobility and thus autonomy of seniors by integrating 2 interdependant elements : specific nutritional products and protocoles for adapted physical activity.

FUI Octave (2015-2019) : new high added value expertises for a better wine ageing.

This collaborative project involving three companies and three research teams is supported by the clusters Vitagora®, Materalia, Southwest Agri Innovation. The aim is to conduct research on the sensitivity of white wines to oxygen by taking into account the impact of the raw material and the impact of the caps to understand the heterogeneity of wines from one bottle to another. Based on an innovative approach that combines scientific approaches and complementary technologies the project will develop innovative product ranges in line with the sensitivity of the wine to oxygen and high-tech services with respect to the sensitivity wine to oxygen.

IC-Qualiment PATATE (2015-2018) : Oral physiology and texture acceptability for young children.

IC-QUaliment QualigrasPhy (2013-2016) : determinants of interindividual variability for human fat perception.

This projects aims at studying the impact of food structure on in-mouth flavour compounds release, at better understanding molecular interactions between aroma compounds and biological targets (salivary enzymes, lipocalines, odorant receptors,…) and to evaluate the respective impact of gustatory and olfactory componants in global fat perception.

Fondation Agropolis : Chaman (2015-2018) : Prédire le potentiel organoleptique « chocolat » d’un échantillon de cacao.

This project aims at setting up a methodology allowing a direct prediction of « chocolate » organoleptic potential of cocoa, without any sensory analysis of associated chocolate.

IC-Qualiment NutriSensAl (2017-2019) : Outil d’aide à la reformulation d’aliments nutritionnellement et sensoriellement bons et répondant aux exigences environnementales.

This project aims to build an ontology-guided data base on daity gels, allowing to relate data on food composition, structure, processes, sensory and nutritional quality and environmental impact.

ISITE Bourgogne Franche-Comté TOM (2018-2021). Taste and Oral Microbiota.

This project aims to relate oral microbiota composition with healthy subjects taste sensitivity and to model the role of microbiota on the modulation of taste stimuli diffusion through lingual film.

ISITE Bourgogne Franche-Comté Junior (2018-2012). EATERS : Brain mechanisms of odor-induced taste enhancement in normal weight and obese populations.

EATERS has fundamental and applied objectives to (1) understand the food mental representation on obese and normo-ponderal humans, which constitutes a decisive criteria for food behavior and (2) study if the taste enhancement by aroma can be an efficient and robust strategy to decrease sugar and salt content consumed by these two populations.

Guichard, E., Repoux, M., Qannari, E. M., Laboure, H. and Feron G. (2017). Cheese aroma perception is not only explained by in vivo aroma release but also by salivary composition and oral processing parameters. Food and Function. 8(2) : 615-628. DOI: 10.1039/C6FO01472K.

Thomsen, M., Dosne, T., Beno, N., Chabanet, C., Guichard, E., Thomas-Danguin T. (2017). Combination of odour-stimulation tools and surface response methodology for odour recombination studies. Flavour and Fragrance Journal. 32(3): 196-200.

Syarifuddin A., Septier C., Thomas Danguin T., Salles C. (2016). Reducing salt and fat while maintaining taste: An approach on a model food system. Food Quality and Preference, 48, 59-69.

Romagny S., Ginon E., Salles C. (2017). Impact of reducing fat, salt and sugar in commercial foods on consumer acceptability and willingness to pay in real tasting conditions: A home experiment. Food Quality and Preference, 56, 164–172.

Schwartz, C.; Vandenberghe-Descamps, M.; Sulmont-Rossé, C.; Tournier, C.; Feron, G., Behavioral and physiological determinants of food choice and consumption at sensitive periods of the life span, a focus on infants and elderly. Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies 2017.

Tournier, C.; Devezeaux de Lavergne, M.; van de Velde, F.; Stieger, M.; Salles, C.; Bertrand, D., Investigation of oral gels breakdown using image analysis. Food Hydrocolloids 2017, 63, 67-76.

Morzel, M., Neyraud, E., Brignot, H., Ducoroy, P., Jeannin, A., Lucchi, G., Truntzer, C., Canlet, C., Tremblay-Franco, M., Hirtz, C., Gaillard, S., Peretti, N., Feron G. Multi-omics profiling reveals that eating difficulties developed consecutively to artificial nutrition in the neonatal period are associated to specific saliva composition. Journal of Proteomics. 2015,128:105-12.

Ployon, S., Belloir, C., Bonnotte, A., Lherminier, J., Canon, F., Morzel, M. The membrane-associated MUC1 improves adhesion of salivary MUC5B on buccal cells. Application to development of an in vitro cellular model of oral epithelium. Archives of Oral Biology. 2016,61:149-55.

Neyraud, E., Cabaret, S., Brignot, H., Chabanet, C., Labouré, H., Guichard, E., Berdeaux, O. The basal free fatty acid concentration in human saliva is related to salivary lipolytic activity. Scientific Reports. 2017, 7: 5969.

Tromelin, A. Odour perception: A review of an intricate signalling pathway. Flavour and Fragrance Journal. 2016, 31: 107–119.

Tromelin, A., Chabanet C., Audouze K., Koensgen F., Guichard E. Multivariate statistical analysis of a large odorants database aimed at revealing similarities and links between odorants and odors. Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 2017, DOI: 10.1002/ffj.3430.

Bonny, J. M., Sinding, C., Thomas-Danguin, T. Functional MRI and Sensory Perception of Food in Modern Magnetic Resonance 1–20 (Springer International Publishing, 2017). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-28275-6_132-1.

Sinding, C., Valadier, F., Al-Hassani, V., Feron, G., Tromelin, A., Kontaris, I., and Hummel, T. New determinants of olfactory habituation. Scientific Reports, 2017. 7:41047.DOI: 10.1038/srep41047.

Thomas-Danguin, T., Sinding, C., Tournier, C., Saint-Eve, A. Multimodal interactions in Flavor From Food to Behaviors, Wellbeing and Health 430, 2016.

Malfondet N, Gourrat K, Brunerie P, Le Quéré J-L (2016) Aroma characterization of freshly-distilled French brandies; their specificity and variability within a limited geographic area. Flavour Fragr J 31:361-376.

Martin C, Schoumacker R, Bourjade D, Thomas-Danguin T, Guichard E, Le Quéré JL, Labouré H (2016) Sensory properties linked to fat content and tasting temperature in cottage cheese. Dairy Sci Technol 96:735-746.

Schoumacker R, Martin C, Thomas-Danguin T, Guichard E, Le Quéré JL, Labouré H (2017) Fat perception in cottage cheese: The contribution of aroma and tasting temperature. Food Qual Pref 56:241-246.

Schoumacker R, Robert-Hazotte A, Heydel J-M, Faure P, Le Quéré J-L (2016) Real-time monitoring of the metabolic capacity of ex vivo rat olfactory mucosa by proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS). Anal Bioanal Chem 408:1539-1543.

Sémon E, Arvisenet G, Guichard E, Le Quéré J-L (2018) Modified Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometry (PTR-MS) operating conditions for in vitro and in vivo analysis of wine aroma. J Mass Spectrom 53:65-77.

  • Europe
  • ANR
  • Bourgogne
  • Vitagora
  • Institut Carnot Qualiment