Color Your Food and Beverage Tasty

Colors - Out of the Box - 'A Picture of many c...

Colors – Out of the Box – ‘A Picture of many colors proclaims many Thoughts.’ (Photo credit: Raksh1tha)

Giving new meaning to the phrase, “We eat with our eyes first,” researchers from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the University of Oxford have shown that hot chocolate tastes better in an orange or cream-colored cup as compared to a white or red cup. Their experimentation has led them to the conclusion that the color of the vessel in which food and drink are served can enhance taste and aroma.

Their study consisted of 57 participants who had to evaluate hot chocolate served in four different types of plastic cup. The cups were the same size but each cup was a different color, either white, dark cream, red, or orange. Two of the hot chocolate samples had been sweetened. The participants had to rate each sample of hot chocolate on different sensory scales.

Here’s what the researchers found:

  • The orange cup, which had a white interior, and the dark cream-colored cups brought out the chocolate flavor, which increased people’s acceptance.
  • Sweetness and chocolate aroma were less influenced by the color of the cup. However, the hot chocolate, when served in the dark cream cup, was rated as sweeter and its aroma more intense.

Is there a practical application to all of this? Yes, say the researchers. “These results are relevant to sensory scientists interested in how the brain integrates visual input (such as color), not only from the food itself, but also from the container, packaging or plateware from which it is being consumed. In addition, these results should hopefully help stimulate chefs, restaurateurs and those working in the food and beverage packaging sectors to think more carefully about the color of their plateware/packaging and its potential effects on their customers’ perception of the taste/flavor of the products that they happen to be serving/delivering to market.”

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~ by chasm63 on January 7, 2013.

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