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Wageningen Restaurant of the Future

Contact Details

Wageningen UR

Stippeneng 2, 6708 WE Wageningen

Judith van der Horst

+31 317 480876

Hotel Description

The Restaurant of the Future research facilities include sensory and physiological laboratories and a real-life lunch restaurant. The facilities are aimed at understanding mechanisms underlying consumer’s food choice and perception. These mechanisms are studied at various levels that vary in degree of realism and control. The oral laboratory allows very accurate measurement of oral movements, including tongue movements, during food consumption using state-of-the-art 3-D articulography. The laboratories are equipped with a number of olfactometers and gustometers that allow accurate and well-timed presentations of aromas and tastants. Aromas can be applied either in the mouth and/or nose of consumers during consumption for rapid screening of suitable texture/taste/aroma combinations, and for multi-modal sensory interactions. Alternatively, aromas can be inserted in the ambiance in which foods are selected and consumed (the so-called “mood rooms”), and effects on consumer’s mood and behavior can be measured using a combination of objective (automated tracking & tracing of consumers, physiological measures of mood & emotions) and subjective (questionnaire & projective techniques) measures. The physiological laboratory measures implicit responses of consumers to foods using a combination of physiological (heart rate, skin conductance and skin temperature) and behavioral (automatic registration of facial expression) measures. A sensory laboratory allows the sensory profiling of food and non-food products with up to 16 panelists using computer-based questionnaires that facilitates rapid collection and analysis of sensory data. Consumer food choice and consumption behavior are investigated with virtual versions of supermarkets and restaurant or in the so-called ambiance laboratory that use immersive technologies to create specific consumer visual, sound and aroma ambiances Finally, real-life food choice and consumption behavior is investigated in an experimental lunch restaurant that is visited daily by up to 150 regular visitors and where individual food choices are monitored over prolonged periods of time based on behavior during food choice (automated tracing and tracking) and sales data. A state-of-the art kitchen allows the preparation of new innovative dishes and the flexible food choice area allows systematic variations of relevant variables such as labels, logos and buffet lay-out. The virtual and real-life consumer facilities offer the opportunity to test new food products that have either been developed in the laboratories of the restaurant, and/or by food companies.

  • Agri & Food
  • Biomedical & health
  • Other
  • Automated registration and analysis of facial expressions of consumers during consumption.
  • Automated registration of consumer movement patterns and sales during food choice.
  • Physiological responses to food & food aromas.
  • Multi-model perceptual food interactions.
  • Computerized data acquisition and analysis of sensory data.

Expertise and Track Record

Real-life lunch restaurant equipped with video & automated tracking & tracing & sales data collection, sensory laboratory, ambiance lab for immersive consumer studies, virtual reality supermarket and restaurant, physiological laboratory (heart rate, skin conductance, skin temperature & facial expressions), olfactometers, gustometers, 3-D articulography for the accurate measurement of chewing movements (including tongue). Trained sensory panels plus large panel consisting of 800+ well-characterized senior panellists (aged between 55 and 90 yrs).

1) The lunch restaurant has been used extensively in two PPS projects (Developer of Nudges for the Retail and out-of-home (DONRO) and Basisvoeding middelen (BVM)) to investigate the effect of ambient aroma, sound and light on consumer behavior.
2) The so-called mood rooms have been used to support studies for a leading Dutch food company on the effect of ambient aromas on consumer experiences.
3) The Top Institute Food & Nutrition has used the oral lab facility over the past 4 years to study oral movements during the consumption of liquid and semi-solid foods.


  • • Doets, E.L. & Kremer, S. (2015). The silver sensory experience – a review of senior consumers’ food perception, liking and intake. Food Quality and Preference , DOI:10.1016/j.foodqual.2015.08.010
  • • den Uijl, L. C., Kremer, S., Jager, G., van der Stelt, A.J., de Graaf, C., Gibson, P. , Godfrey, J. & Lawlor, J.B. (2015) That’s why I take my ONS – Means-end chain as a novel approach to elucidate the personally relevant factors driving ONS consumption in nutritionally frail elderly users. Appetite 89, 33-40.
  • • Janssen, A.M., Kremer, S. et al. (2015) Reduced-Sodium Lunches Are Well Accepted by Uninformed Consumers over a Three-Week Period and Result in Decreased Daily Dietary Sodium Intakes – a Randomized Controlled Trial, 115, (10), 1614–1625.
  • • Kremer, S., Derks, J., Nijenhuis, M. A., Boer, E., & Gorselink, M. (2012). Effect of a holistic meal and ambiance concept on main meal enjoyment and food intake of
  • • van den Bosch, I., van Delft, J.M., de Wijk, R.A., de Graaf, C., Boesveldt, S . Learning to (dis)like: the effect of evaluative conditioning with tastes and faces on odor valence assessed by implicit and explicit measurements. Accepted for publication in Physiology & Behaviour.
  • • Devezeaux de Lavergne, M., Derks, J.A.M., Ketel, E., de Wijk, R.A., Stieger, M. Eating behaviour explains differences in dynamic texture perception between individuals. Food Quality and Preference Volume 41, April 2015, Pages 189–200.
  • • He, W., Boesveldt, S., de Graaf, C., de Wijk, R.A. (2014). Dynamics of autonomic nervous system responses and facial expressions to odors. Front Psychol. 2014; 5: 110.
  • • de Wijk, R.A., Zijlstra, S. (2012). Differential effects of exposure to ambient vanilla and citrus aromas on mood, arousal and food choice. Flavour, 1:24 doi:10.1186/2044-7248-1-24.
  • • Bult, J.H.F., de Wijk, R.A., & Hummel, T. (2007). Investigations on multimodal sensory integration: texture, taste, and ortho- and retronasal olfactory stimuli in concert. Neuroscience Letters, 411, 6-10.


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