Researchers Investigate Flavor-Chemesthesis Connections

April 24, 2007

1 Min Read
Researchers Investigate Flavor-Chemesthesis Connections

Researchers from the University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington, England, recently investigated the relationship between color, aroma and temperature on flavor perception, with results showing a connection between aroma and cooling intensity and coolness and flavor. The results of this research were published on the Food Quality and Preference website ahead of the print version.

The University of Nottingham scientists noted that some of the effects of chemesthesisthe chemical stimulation of nerve endings to create cooling (like menthol) or hot (like chiles) sensationsand flavor perception remain unexplained. Therefore, they set out to study the connections between color, aroma and cooling sensations in beverages using trained panelists. The panelists evaluated the flavor and cooling intensity of two drinks: one with a green color that delivered a cooling sensation and a melon aroma and another colored purple that likewise delivered a cooling sensation with a pineapple aroma.

The results showed that color did not affect how the panelists evaluated flavor or cooling intensity. However, the panelists ratings showed that aroma was found to enhance the cooling sensation, and the presence of a coolant enhanced flavor. The researchers note that previous work has shown that a hot sensation, like one produced by chiles, reduces flavor perception.

Understanding the effect of exposure on flavor perception, particularly to new combinations of stimuli, has particular relevance to new product launches and their acceptance by the consumer, note the authors in the Food Quality and Preference article.

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