Pangborn 2021

This year, we hoped to visit the beautiful city of Vancouver, Canada to attend the 2021 edition of the Pangborn conference. Unfortunately the conference still had to be hosted online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we were glad that the conference still took place in this online format. We would like to thank to all of the speakers and of course the organizing committee.


With a very relevant conference theme, Sustainable Sensory Science, we enjoyed all the interesting talks and presentations. Rachel Ligget from Nestlé impressed us with her talk about how they changed their sensory lab, ultimately producing zero waste to landfill. Let’s hope that this can be an inspiration for others too.


While we are all well aware of how to conduct sensory and consumer research in the more developed countries, the Pangborn conference gave us fascinating insights and food for thought on conducting consumer research in (rural) Africa during a keynote presentation from Mukani Moyo from the International Potato Center as well as a workshop organized by ANSWER (African Network for Sensory Evaluation Research). With illiteracy being a common issue, resulting in researchers having to help some consumers to explain the questions and fill in the questionnaires for them. When no researchers are present, for example during HUT tests, there is a risk that the consumers misunderstand the questions. One of the possible solutions mentioned was the use of text-to-speech / speech-to-text techniques. We were also surprised to hear that Ethiopia has a different calendar and way of telling time than the rest of the world. They use a 12-hour clock starting at dawn (time = 0, 6 a.m. foreign time) and ends at dusk (time = 12, 6 p.m. foreign time).

The conference was a special one for us because we were accepted for a poster presentation with the title “Can AI Powered Speech-to-Text and Text-to-Speech techniques limit the interviewer bias in sensory and consumer research?” Please click here to view the poster.

We tested the effect of survey method on interviewer bias by comparing two survey methods: an interview with a human interviewer and a survey where Text-to-Speech and Speech-to-Text techniques were used. Our panellists participated in both survey methods and results were compared to see if the answers differed from each other. If you are interested in reading more about this study and the results, please have at our previous blog: Does AI Powered Speech-to-Text limit interviewer bias?


We hope to see you all in person again on the conferences next year!