More than 1,000 scientists from around the world are set to descend on Edinburgh for an international conference focusing on the effects of food and drink on the senses, it was announced today.

Representatives from some of the world’s top institutions in the fields of agriculture, food and drink made Scotland’s Capital the winning contender as host destination for the next biennial Pangborn Sensory Symposium in July 2019.

The destination for the 2019 Symposium has just been unveiled during the 2017 event in Rhode Island, USA, and the event is expected to generate £2.4 million in economic benefit for the city of Edinburgh.

Food and drink is one of Scotland’s largest sectors, employing over 350,000 people and contributing £1.4 billion in annual sales to the overall economy.  Scotland exports £5.1 billion worth of food and drink products every year to more than 100 countries worldwide, with 40 bottles of whisky shipped overseas every second.

The EICC and Convention Edinburgh worked jointly to attract the 2019 Symposium to Edinburgh, involving local food and drink companies and restauranteurs, such as Mark Greenaway to support the bid by proposing creative ideas to fit in with the theme of the sensory dining experience.  During the event conference delegates can look forward to sensory aromas in the EICC’s meeting rooms and locally-sourced food freshly prepared by catering partner Leith’s at the EICC.

Professor Joanne Hort, Fonterra-Riddet Chair of Consumer and Sensory Science at Massey University, New Zealand, said: “We’re looking forward to bringing the 13th International Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium to the Historic City of Edinburgh.  It is the foremost symposium for Sensory and Consumer Scientists in the world and in 2019 we will be exploring how in our ever changing society we can adapt to meet the challenges of the future.”

Marshall Dallas, Chief Executive of EICC, added: “Together with our catering partner Leith’s, the EICC prides itself on a world-class food and drink offering and one that meets the highest standards in sustainability and environmental impact.  So, we’re extremely pleased to bring a global industry event like the Pangborn Symposium to the city and it’s really a testament to the fantastic team effort that went on behind the scenes.”

Amanda Ferguson, Head of Business Tourism at Convention Edinburgh, said: “From collaborating on the bid submission and arranging site visits, to bringing on board local food heroes like Chef Mark Greenaway and organisations such as the Edinburgh Science Festival, Marketing Edinburgh is delighted to have played an integral role in securing this prestigious global event. Edinburgh is a city of food-lovers with more restaurants per head than any anywhere else in the UK, I’m sure the Pangborn delegates will feel right at home.”

In 2015, the EICC became Scotland’s first conference venue and one of the nation’s first businesses to sign up to the ‘Scottish food and drink pledge’, making a commitment to working with partners to ensure the use of authentic, sustainable Scottish produce.