Rie Ishii, Ph.D.
Dr. Rie Ishii has been working in the field of Sensory Science for close to 30 years. Like Prof. O’Mahony, she has spent most of her career at the University of California in Davis, where she ran an established internship training program for undergraduate and graduate students. Many of these students moved on to employments at a variety of domestic and global companies with advanced sensory and consumer research departments.
Dr. Ishii has actively collaborated with Prof. O’Mahony at the UCD. One of their impactful contributions involved cross-cultural studies between Japanese and Americans which resulted in the designation of the ‘Umami’ characteristic as the fifth basic taste rather than wrongly limiting it to the combination of the four ‘original’ basic tastes.
Dr. Ishii’s interests involve conducting sensory and consumer studies using traditional as well as advanced experimental procedures. In particular, she focuses on the development of new descriptive analysis panels going beyond standard laboratory evaluations. For instance, she has employed home-use panels for food and personal care products resulting in more ecologically valid sensory profiles and measurements.
Dr. Ishii left UC Davis to co-found the Davis Sensory Institute with Prof. O’Mahony with the objective of providing faster and more cost-effective services to food, beverage and personal care companies. She has a special interest in sustainability projects. She also maintains her training program for young sensory scientists who are interested in a career in the field of Sensory and Consumer Science.