Tepper, Beverly J.
Phone: 732-932-9611, ext. 221
Ph.D., Tufts University, 1986
Professional Summary/CV [.PDF]
Department of Food Science, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, New Brunswick; Rutgers
Areas of Interest
Biology (Sensory Evaluation; Taste Genetics; Taste in Disease; Food Intake; Obesity.
Sensory Evaluation of Food and Advanced Food Sensory Science.
Grants, Honors, and Awards
Principal Investigator, Bitter Taste Phenotype, Diet Variety and Obesity in Women, American Heart Association, Founder Affiliate, 2008-2011; Principal Investigator, Sensory Perception of “Sensate” Flavor Enhancers, Takasago International Corp., Rockleigh, NJ, 2006-2008; Co-Investigator, PROP Sensitivity and Obesity Among Ethnic Children, National Cancer Institute, 2005-2009; Principal Investigator, Sensory Perception of Sucralose in Soft Drinks: A
Multidimensional Approach, McNeil Nutritionals Worldwide, New Brunswick, NJ, 2002-2003.
Academic Interests and Plans
My research program combines Food Sensory Science with Nutritional Science and Psychology to better understand the links between taste, diet and health. Specific research areas include the following:
1) The influence of genetic variation in bitter taste perception (6-n-propylthiouracil [PROP] taste sensitivity) on taste perception and food preferences. Current work explores the role of PROP taster status as a marker for dietary fat preference and body weight in both children and adults. Other studies examine the use of PROP taster status as tool in sensory and consumer research.
2) The efficacy of bitter blockers in food and beverage products.
3) The effects of diabetes on sweet taste, food cravings and dietary compliance. Special interest is on women who become transiently diabetic during pregnancy (gestational diabetes). Gestational diabetes is more common in obese and minority women and places them at greater risk for poor fetal outcome and for developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.
4) Food intake regulation and the influence of cognitive factors such as food attitudes, dietary restraint and disinhibition on eating behavior. Current studies have applied multivariate statistical techniques to small-scale surveys to better understand eating patterns among different population subgroups such as women and minorities.