Research has demonstrated that the sensory experience of eating effects the way that people taste their food. (FoodNavigator.com, 19 November 2015). (FoodNavigator.com, 19 November 2015).
In other words, the physical environment can have a negative or positive effect on your perception of flavors. For example, raising the pitch of an auditory cue can make something taste sweeter! In addition, increasing the decibel level can dull taste receptors in the brain as much as 10%. This could make your food taste under-seasoned. Texture, color and smell can also have effects on our flavor perceptions. Food manufacturers are aware of this and attempt to manipulate consumers with a couple tricks. For instance, to combat consumer distaste for runny textures, early fat-free yogurt utilized added odors which the brain in turn associated with creaminess. The story doesn’t end there, the packaging is also a leading influencer. The world-renowned British neuroscientist Charles Spence is conducting a study to measure how much impact the experience of opening a can of soda — the pop, hiss and whoosh — has on the sense of fizziness, flatness and temperature (NewYorker.com, 2 November 2015).
So, if these tactics can be used to sell us sugary sodas, why can’t they be used to sell us green vegetables. Utilizing the multi-sensory food experience, it has been suggested that consumers could be convinced to eat more nutritious diets, and chemotherapy patients could receive help in keeping up their diets.