Sight and Sound Important in Food

June 11, 2008
Join the conversation: Is there more to food than just taste? Diane Toops takes on the senses in today's blog post

Researchers at Oxford University have found the sound diners hear (and the color of food) while eating can change the way they think the food tastes, reports Meanwhile, many food manufacturers employ neuroscientists to help them develop new tricks for altering the flavor of products.

Oxford professor Charles Spence, a sensory psychologist, found that it is possible to change the flavor of food simply by exciting people’s sense of hearing and vision.

“For some foods sound is incredibly important, particularly if the food makes a sound itself when it is eaten,” said Spence. “With carbonated drinks for example a lot of the fizzy flavor comes from the sound of bubbles popping, and playing sounds of clucking chickens or sizzling bacon brings out the taste of eggs or bacon.”

“Deep red colors have strong associations with the ripening of fruit and the sweetness that comes with that,” Spence told the Daily Telegraph. “Orange also has strong flavor associations to the degree that just changing the amount of orange on the packaging can increase the acidic flavor.”

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