Students performed a variety of experiments showing the importance of sensory perception and how it applies to food appeal.
First, students evaluated how color and appearance affected perception of flavor.
I purchased three flavors of sparkling water and poured them into six clear cups. One of each of the flavors was clear and one of them had a drop of food coloring in them.
I didn’t tell students ahead of time what the objective of the experiment was. Students had the liquid poured into a dixie cup. Their partner timed from the time they took a drink to when they identified the flavor of the beverage.
As predicted, students correctly identified the clear liquids although it took them some time. They identified the blue drink as “Blue Raspberry” although it was strawberry. The drink that took the least time to identify was the lime drink that was also colored green.
Then, just for fun, we tried some jellybeans. We put them in our mouth without looking at them, but plugging our noses. We couldn’t identify the flavor until we unplugged our nose. This demonstrated the difference between taste and flavor, as well as the importance of aroma.