3: Chemical, physical and cognitive effects influencing wine mouthfeel

Professor Jason Stokes

University of Queensland


Insight into the role of physics, chemistry and saliva in determining the mouthfeel of foods and beverages. 

Jason Stokes is a Professor in the School of Chemical Engineering and Deputy Associate Dean of Research (Research Training) for the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and IT at the University of Queensland (UQ).  His qualifications include a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) and PhD from The University of Melbourne, Australia. He spent 10 years (1999 – 2008) as a research scientist at Unilever’s corporate research laboratory in the United Kingdom and joined UQ in October 2008. He has over 120 academic publications with over 5000 citations.
Jason’s research principally concerns the rheology, tribology and interfacial properties and structure of complex fluids and soft materials incorporating hydrocolloids, gels, nanocrystalline cellulose, emulsions, plant cells and biofluids. In partnership with industry, his research is applied to diverse research areas such as food oral processing and sensory science, food structure design and engineering.  This has included pioneering new measurement techniques to unravel the complexity of mouthfeel sensations in terms of the underlying physics occurring during consumption.

Damian Espinase Nandorfy



Dissecting wine ‘textures’ into specific sensory properties and considering cross-modal interactions are critical for producing complex, balanced, textural wines.

Sensory Scientist Damian Espinase Nandorfy is part of the Sensory and Flavour Research group at the Australian Wine Research Institute in Adelaide, South Australia. Damian has over fifteen years’ experience selling, making, researching, and enjoying wine! Originally from Canada, Damian holds an honours science degree in Viticulture & Oenology from Brock University, a post-graduate certificate in Sensory & Consumer Science from UC Davis and is currently undertaking a PhD at Deakin University on understanding the perceptual interactions of wine flavour compounds. Damian’s research focuses on linking ‘key’ food and beverage compounds with sensory properties. His research outcomes allow for practical optimisation of product ‘flavour’ and contribute to the fundamental understanding of sensory processing with particular attention to olfaction.

Dr. Richard Gawel

Australian Wine Research Institute


An understanding of the impacts of phenolics, alcohol, polysaccharides and dissolved CO2 on the perception of white wine astringency, viscosity, hotness and bitterness.

Simon Schmidt is a Research Manager at the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI). Simon has studied cellular differentiation in slime moulds, how heart cells communicate to beat synchronously and, for his PhD, innate immunity in plants. Since moving to the AWRI Simons interests have evolved to include the relationship between nutrient availability and yeast fermentation performance, yeast stress tolerance and the role of oxygen in shaping fermentation outcomes.

Associate Professor Sue Bastian

University of Adelaide, School of Agriculture, Food, & Wine


Anthocyanins and other flavanols linked to SO2 seem to contribute to orosensory properties of red wines more than previously thought. Probably driven by other mechanisms different from tannin-protein interaction

Dr Sáenz-Navajas has bachelor degrees in Chemistry and Enology from La Rioja University. She went on to complete a PhD on wine sensory interactions and non-volatile sensory-active molecules driving wine quality at the same University. The PhD involved innovative work on sensory interactions in wines by construction / deconstruction strategies combining sensory and chemical sciences. Dr Sáenz-Navajas was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Flavor and Feed Sciences in Dijon, France (Prof. Dr. Valentin Lab), where she acquired expertise in Sensory and Consumer Science and focused on understanding wine quality perception through a multidisciplinary approach that included psychology, psychophysics, chemistry and enology. She visited the University of California Davis (Prof. Dr. Waterhouse Lab) during this time to apply an innovative method to measure the activity of wine polyphenols. Since 2013, Dr Sáenz-Navajas has worked at Universidad de Zaragoza at Laboratorio de Análisis del Aroma y Enología, which is associated Unit to the Instituto de Ciencias de la Vid y del Vino, ICVV. Her main research line is focused on the development of conceptual, instrumental and methodological tools for the modelling of flavour, and especially taste and mouthfeel sensations in complex mixtures, using wine as proof of concept in her studies.

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