Dr Heather Smyth

Senior Research Fellow

Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
+61 7 344 32469


Dr Heather Smyth is a flavour chemist and sensory scientist who has been working with premium food and beverage products for more than ten years.

With a background in wine flavour chemistry, her expertise is in understanding consumer enjoyment of foods and beverages in terms of both sensory properties and chemical composition.

Current projects involve specialty coffee, beer, wine, native plant foods, cocoa, meat and seafood, tropical fruit, cereals, dairy products and some processed products. She has a special interest in describing and articulating food quality, understanding the influence of terroir on locally grown produce, and modelling food flavour and textural properties using instrumental measurements. Heather collaborates with a number of companies and research groups to discover what consumers enjoy about food which aids in the design and production of superior products with increased consumer value.

Heather is also heavily involved in training industry and researchers in the application of sensory and consumer evaluation methods.


  • Bachelor of Science, The University of Adelaide
  • Doctor Of Philosophy, The University of Adelaide


View all Publications


View all Grants


  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • (2016) Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision



Book Chapter

  • Smyth, Heather and Sultanbawa, Yasmina (2016). Unique flavours from Australian native plants. In Yasmina Sultanbawa and Fazal Sultanbawa (Ed.), Australian native plants cultivation and uses in the health and food industries (pp. 265-274) Boca Raton, FL, United States: Taylor & Francis Group. doi:10.1201/b20635-23

  • Innes, David J, Dillon, Natalie L., Smyth, Heather E., Karan, Mirko, Holton, Timothy A., Bally, Ian S.E. and Dietzgen, Ralf G. (2015). Mangomics: Information systems supporting advanced mango breeding. In Thangadurai, Devarajan and Sangeetha, Jeyabalan (Ed.), Genomics and Proteomics - Principles, Technologies, and Applications (pp. 281-307) Oakville, Ontario, Canada: Apple Academic Press/CRC Press.

  • Cozzolino, D., Corbella, E. and Smyth, H. (2012). Quality control of honey using spectroscopic methods. In Gilles Bondurand and Hernan Bosch (Ed.), Honey : production, consumption, and health benefits (pp. 113-132) Hauppauge NY, USA: Nova Science Publisher.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • San, A. T., Webb, R. I., Joyce, D. C., Hofman, P. J., Macnish, A. J. and Smyth, H. E. (2017). Anatomy of skin disorders afflicting Australian mangoes. In: I. Bally, L. Tran-Nguyen and D. Hall, Proceedings of the XI International Mango Symposium. XI International Mango Symposium, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia , (331-335). 28th September- 3rd. October 2015. doi:10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1183.48

  • San, A. T., Smyth, H. E., Joyce, D. C., Webb, R., Li, G. Q., Hofman, P. J. and Macnish, A. J. (2016). γ-Irradiation effects on appearance and aroma of 'Kensington Pride' mango fruit. In: R. Drew, M. Fitch and J. Zhu, XXIX International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture: Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes. Proceedings of the IV International Symposium on Papaya, VIII International Pineapple Symposium, and International Symposium on Mango. XXIX International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture: Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes (IHC2014), Brisbane, QLD, Australia, (393-398). 17-22 August 2014. doi:10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1111.56

  • Sultanbawa, Y., Duong, M. Su, Sanderson, J., Cusack, A., Chaliha, M., Currie, M., Pun, S. and Smyth, H. (2015). Evaluation of packaging films to extend storage life of Indigenous Australian vegetables and herbs. In: J. D. H. Keatinge, R. Srinivasan and M. Mecozzi, Proceedings of the I International Symposium on Indigenous Vegetables. International Horticultural Congress, Brisbane, QLD, Australia, (183-189). 17-22 August 2015. doi:10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1102.23

  • Palou, Rousset, Fuller, Steve, Smyth, Heather and Roura, Eugeni (2015). Transfer of Dietary Plant Natural Flavor Compounds From Essential Oils to Maternal Fluids in Pigs. In: Abstracts - Australasian Association for ChemoSensory Science (AACSS) Conference. 15th Scientific Meeting of the Australasian Association for ChemoSensory Science (AACSS), Brisbane, QLD Australia, (360-360). 03-05 December 2014. doi:10.1093/chemse/bjv008

  • Smyth, H. E. (2013). Flavour wheels. In: 19th Australian Gastronomy Symposium, Newcastle, NSW Australia, (). 5-8 April 2013.

  • Liu, Dianna, Chatelard, Antoine, Cusack, Andrew, Abberton, Kerrie, Currie, Margaret, Sultanbawa, Yasmina and Smyth, Heather (2011). Fruit quality and flavour profile of fresh-cut papaya. In: Glenn Graham, Proceedings: 12th Government Food Analysts Conference. 12th Government Food Analysts Conference, Brisbane, Australia, (171-179). 22-24 February 2011.

  • Smyth, H. E. (2010). Demystifying Australian flavours - a new lexicon. In: Wild Flavours of Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia, (). 3 May 2010.

  • Smyth, H. E., Sanderson, J., Sultanbawa, Y. and Davis, C. (2009). Profiling Australian flavours. In: 42nd Annual AIFST Convention, Brisbane, QLD, Australia, (). 13-16 July 2009.

  • Smyth,H. E., Kirchhoff, S., Fuller, S., Abberton, K., Davis, C., Bally, I. and Dietzgen, R.G. (2008). Tropical flavours to tempt consumers. In: Tropical Fruit in Human Nutrition and Health, Gold Coast, Qld, (). 8th-11th November 2008.

  • Cozzolino, Daniel, Smyth, Heather E., Cynkar, Wies, Janik, Les, Dambergs, Robert G. and Gishen, Mark (2008). Use of direct headspace-mass spectrometry coupled with chemometrics to predict aroma properties in Australian Riesling wine. In: Geoffrey Scollary, Douglas N. Rutledge and Alan Townshend, Papers presented at the 5th Symposium In Vino Analytica Scientia - In Vino 2007. 5th Symposium In Vino Analytica Scientia (In Vino 2007), Melbourne, Australia, (2-7). 22-25 July 2007. doi:10.1016/j.aca.2007.09.036

  • Smyth, H.E., Poole, S., Mayze, J., Kirchhoff, S. and Fuller, S. (2007). Flavour dictates consumer preference for prawn and barramundi. In: Ridley AquaFeed 2007 Australian Prawn and Barramundi Conference, Brisbane QLD, Australia, (). 25-26th July, 2007.

  • Dietzgen, R. G., Bally, I., Devitt, L. C., Dillon, N., Holton, T. A., Gidley, M., Karan, M., Smyth, H. E., Sunarharum, W. and Wilkinson, A. (2007). Genomics approaches to mango varietal improvement. In: Delivering mango research : the Amistar Sixth Australian Mango Conference : conference proceedings. Amistar Sixth Australian Mango Conference, Cairns, QLD, Australia, (34-35). 22-25 May 2007.

  • Cozzolino, Daniel, Smyth, Heather E., Lattey, Kate A., Cynkar, Wies, Janik, Les, Dambergs, Robert G., Francis, I. Leigh and Gishen, Mark (2006). Combining mass spectrometry based electronic nose, visible-near infrared spectroscopy and chemometrics to assess the sensory properties of Australian Riesling wines. In: Veronique Cheynier, Christian Ducauze, Douglas N. Rutledge and Alan Townshend, Papers presented at the 4th Symposium on In Vino Analytica Scientia. 4th Symposium on In Vino Analytica Scientia, Montpellier, France, (319-324). 7-9 July 2005. doi:10.1016/j.aca.2005.11.008

  • Smyth, H. E., Bally, I., Dillon, N., Holton, T., De Faveri, J. and Dietzgen, R. G. (2006). Investigating the genetic basis of mango fruit quality. In: Tropical Crop Biotechnology Conference, Cairns, QLD, Australia, (). 16-19 August 2006.

  • Smyth, H. E., Drasch, P., Cozzolino, D., Fox, G. and Percival, S. (2006). Potential of VIS-NIR spectroscopy to predict perceived ‘muddy’ taint in Australian farmed barramundi. In: 12th Australian Near Infrared Spectroscopy Conference: NIR a Fruitful Science, Rockhampton, QLD, Australia, (). 9-10th May 2006.

  • Smyth, H. E., Cozzolino, D., Herderich, M., Sefton, M. A. and Francis, I. L. (2005). Identification of key aroma compounds in Australian Riesling and unwooded Chardonnay wines. In: State-of-the-art in Flavor Chemistry and Biology: Proceedings of the 7th Wartburg Symposium. 7th Wartburg Symposium on Flavor Chemistry and Biology, Eisenach, Germany, (508-512). 21-23 April 2004.

  • Cozzolino, Daniel, Smyth, Heather E., Cynkar, Wies, Dambergs, Robert G. and Gishen, Mark (2005). Usefulness of chemometrics and mass spectrometry-based electronic nose to classify Australian white wines by their varietal origin. In: 13th International Conference on Flow Injection Analysis (ICFIA 2005), Las Vegas, NV, United States, (382-387). 24-29 April 2005. doi:10.1016/j.talanta.2005.08.057

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision