Three photos: Sensory lab; woman under lemon tree; two men in farm field

Welcome to the Center for Sensory Sciences & Innovation

CSSI seeks to advance the sensory sciences through a better understanding of the effects of flavors and fragrances on human health, well-being and behavior.

The flavor and fragrance industry is a critical driver of innovation across a broad range of consumer products from foods, beverages, and medicines, to personal care, home care and cosmetics. The industry is critical to the nation's economic health since it encompasses virtually every aspect of our daily lives.

Flavors and fragrances elicit complex chemosensory experiences that dramatically affect health, well-being and behavior, yet the nature of these experiences remains poorly understood. For example, we do not understand how flavors and fragrances influence memory, cognitive function and mood. Nor do we understand the full range of benefits of flavors and fragrances in protecting food against spoilage, supporting immune function, or fighting a variety of diseases ranging from infections to obesity to depression.

CSSI was established as a University-wide center at Rutgers University in 2014 and is partnering with the University of California at Riverside. CSSI's vision is to transform the sensory sciences by integrating the discovery and characterization of taste and flavor molecules, with the study of their physiological and psychological mechanisms, to ultimately understand their effects on human behavior and health. This holistic approach will lead to greater insights than the 'piecemeal' approach that is typically practiced in this field.

CSSI operates under a unique model as an Industry-University Cooperative Research Center and is supported by industrial sponsors, research grants and contracts, and foundations. In cooperation with industry partners, the Center seeks to establish a blueprint for training students and workers as multi-disciplinary sensory scientists. Partnering with industry will foster the rapid translation of this new knowledge into the next generation of innovative goods and services, resulting in broad societal impacts.

CSSI's mission is to: (1) advance discovery and applications of flavors and aromas, (2) disseminate the scientific knowledge of flavors and aromas, and (3) educate new scientists who will contribute to these advances.

Meeting Notice: 4th Flavors, Fragrances & Perception Symposium (PDF)