Test how the environment affects the taste of food and drinks



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A team of industrial designers, architects and psychologists from Italy’s University of Campania tested several ways in which our immediate environment can influence the taste of food and drink. The group gave a conference presentation outlining preliminary results at the 24th International Acoustics Conference last year.They then published their paper in a journal Food quality and taste. In their study, the group had volunteers in various settings sample low-sugar orange juice.

Previous research has shown that many aspects of the Western diet can lead to weight gain and various health problems. Sugar is one of the most important components of the Western diet. Medical researchers have been looking for ways to reduce the amount of sugar people consume. In this new effort, the research team wondered if changing the environment in which people consume drinks such as orange juice could change their perception of how sweet the drink tastes, which in turn could change how much they drink. To find out, we asked volunteers to drink low-sugar orange juice at several venues.

The idea behind this study came from recent work by others. For example, in 2017, a research team found that people perceived chocolate samples as sweeter when they listened to smooth music compared to rough music. The following year, another group conducted a study and found that people tended to eat more food when listening to low-pitched music.

In experiments, researchers found that people sitting in a warm environment with high-frequency background noise and red décor had lower sugar levels than when sitting in a low-carb restaurant with cool light and green décor. I discovered that sugary orange juice tastes sweet. Frequency tones playing in the background. They suggest that by changing the environment in which people eat and drink, it may be possible to reduce sugar intake without making an active effort.

For more information:
Noor Fajrina Farah Istiani et al., Effects of a multisensory indoor environment on orange juice perception; Food quality and taste (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2023.105026

Magazine information:
Food quality and taste

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