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How does color affect the taste of food?
Transcript of How does color affect the taste of food?
How color affects taste of food?
Have you ever just looked at food and thought, "I'm not going to like this, it looks so gross!", when you've never even tried it? More than likely, the color had something to do with it. But what happens when the food is different colors but has the same taste? For example M&M's. Some people will swear up and down that the green ones taste different, but its just your mind thinking they tastes different, and it really doesn't.
Many people have been doing experiments on this. Lindsey Wilbur from the University of Utah conducted an experiment on the preference of food based on the color dishes they were in. She found that many preferred a color contrast between food and he bowl.
Last year a class took three bottles of identical lemon lime soda. Into one they put several drops of blue food coloring. Into another they put an identical amount of red food coloring. Into the third they put an identical amount of green food color.They let 100 students try the three sodas and asked which they liked the best. The majority said they liked the blue soda the best because they liked the blue berry flavor the best!
This woman's daughter did the same basic experiment. However, they used sugar dough mix and mixed 7 different colors for 10 classmates to try. Her daughter thought everyone would go for the black cookie, thinking they would think it was chocolate. The colors of choice were actually blue, red and green.
While many of us like to believe that we are not easily deceived, our sense of taste is often fooled by our sense of sight. This is because humans have certain expectations of how food should look. When a food's color is off or is different than what we expect, our brain tells us that it tastes different too. Long supported by scientific studies, we use visual cues from color to identify and judge the quality and taste of what we eat.
This condition is known as synesthesia.
"the production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body."
Your taste buds play an important role in determining the four basic groups of taste, which are sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. When your taste buds come in contact with food, they send signals to your brain to interpret flavor. Because we look at our food before eating, however, our eyes send signals to our brain before our taste buds get the chance. This can predetermine how we will perceive the taste and flavor of what we're about to eat.
Color is often the first element noticed in the appearance of a food product. Humans begin to associate certain colors with various types of foods from birth, and equate these colors to certain tastes and flavors throughout life. For example, we may expect yellow pudding to have a banana or lemon flavor and red jelly beans to have a cherry or cinnamon flavor. In fresh foods, such as fruits and vegetables, we rely on the color to determine their level of ripeness and/or freshness. If the color of a food product does not match our expectations, we may perceive its taste and flavor differently - a psychological effect some food companies use to their advantage.
To give the impression of a certain taste, flavor, or quality, food coloring or dyes are added to processed, packaged, and even fresh foods. Adding a red colorant to the skin of an apple, for example, may influence consumers into believing the apple is sweeter in taste. In a study published in the Journal of Food Science, researchers found that people confused flavors when a drink did not have the appropriate color. A cherry-flavored drink manipulated to be orange in color was thought to taste like an orange drink, and a cherry drink manipulated to be green in color was thought to taste like lime.
Color additives are also used to offset the effects of color loss during the manufacturing process because of exposure to light, changes in temperature, moisture, and storage conditions. At other times, additives are used to enhance the food's natural color or to provide color to foods that are normally colorless. This can be seen in the seafood industry, where farm-raised salmon, typically an unappealing gray color, is dyed pink to give the impression that the fish is high quality and very fresh.
As we grow older
People begin to associate different colors with different types of flavors and even with various moods. For example, these associations between color and flavor may lead to expectations of how a food should taste. Additionally, certain mods have a specific color tied to it.
Different Flavor Regions
Colors are used for many purposes in advertising:
Yellow grabs customers attention in a happy way
Red is the most emotionally intense color, it is also a very bold color.
Green is used to portray health and peace because its a very earthy color.
Coco-Cola: Red and White
Pepsi: Blue and Red
Mcdonalds: Red and Yellow
Additionally, Brand names often get associated with certain colors
In the fast food industry,marketers tend to use the colors red and yellow, like Mcdonalds.
Red triggers the consumers appetite, while grabbing their attention
Yellow triggers a happy feeling
Combined, the two colors set the tone for a speedy service!
Grocery stores also take advantage of color schemes. Take Target for example.
The red in their design makes people think that the store has reasonable prices.
Red is a stimulating color and may lead people to take action.
Color does affect a persons decision process, and it also affects flavor!