Many in the weight loss industry believe that the feeling of being satisfied by a meal is greater in foods that are bursting with flavor. Though this has encouraged some to tinker with different flavors and flavor enhancers to try to discover a natural appetite suppressing effect, the answer may also be in the cutlery that is used to consume the food.
A recent study is now suggesting that the shape, color, weight, and size of your cutlery could impact the way that your food tastes to you. The research was conducted using yogurt. The participants in the study reported that when using a white spoon, they felt that white yogurt was sweeter tasting than pink-colored yogurt, but when they ate it with a black spoon, the opposite results were reported.
The researchers in the study said that these findings may be helpful to individuals who are attempting to alter their eating habits by reducing the amount of salt that they require on their foods or to help reduce the portion sizes.
According to the researchers from the University of Oxford, Vanessa Harrar and Charles Spence, the way that we experience our food is not simply limited to our taste buds. It involves many different senses, including taste, smell, the mouth feel of the food, and even our perception of the food before it even enters our mouths. We see food before we taste it and our brains already begin making judgments about it at that time. This impacts the overall experience of a food. The results of the study were published in the Flavour journal in the United Kingdom.
When the participants used a plastic spoon, they thought that the yogurt was more expensive and more dense. When eaten from a white spoon, they said that white yogurt was sweeter and tasted better than pink yogurt. When eating from a black spoon the pink was considered to be sweeter than the white.
The participants then had to eat cheese from a fork, spoon, knife, and toothpick. They reported that the cheese that they ate from the knife was the saltiest tasting.
Harrar explained that changing the implements and tableware that are used will help to make a meal seem more filling or pleasurable. The color of a food looks different depending on the plate that is used in the background. This causes it to taste different because the brain has already set it up for a certain response.