Science News
from research organizations

Health labels influence flavor perception

Date:
December 11, 2015
Source:
Ghent University
Summary:
Researchers found that food labels influence the perception of flavor. Light products are considered less tasty. Researchers at a flavor lab organized a flavor experiment with young Gouda cheese for a test audience of 129 people. Without knowing it, the participants tasted the same cheese several times, but each time with a different label, such as 'light' or 'reduced salt'.
Share:
FULL STORY

Ghent University researchers found that food labels influence the perception of flavour. Light products are considered less tasty.

Researchers at the flavor lab Sensolab (Faculty of Bioscience Engineering) organized a flavour experiment with young Gouda cheese for a test audience of 129 people. Without knowing it, the participants tasted the same cheese several times, but each time with a different label, such as 'light' or 'reduced salt'.

Flavour perception

The results showed that the 'light' label, associated with a lower fat content, results leads to a lower overall liking of the cheese. Cheese with a claim about a reduced salt content, on the other hand, was labeled as equally delicious as regular cheese.

Furthermore, the researchers found that the flavor that we expected with a particular tag, was experienced even more. For example: the subjects reported that the cheese tasted less salty when carrying the label 'with reduced salt content'.

Health promotion This study illustrates that flavour perception is between the ears, and that food labelling plays an important role. Food companies can take this into account, but the presented results are also interesting for health promotion purposes. If people tend to associate health labels with a lower liking, then the researchers suggest that health agencies should start to think about how the overall flavour perception could be improved. One solution is to work with more general health labels, as earlier research showed focusing on specific ingredients is not the best solution.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Ghent University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Joachim Schouteten, Hans De Steur, Sara De Pelsmaeker, Sofie Lagast, Ilse De Bourdeaudhuij, Xavier Gellynck. Impact of Health Labels on Flavor Perception and Emotional Profiling: A Consumer Study on Cheese. Nutrients, 2015; 7 (12): 10251 DOI: 10.3390/nu7125533

Cite This Page:

Ghent University. "Health labels influence flavor perception." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 December 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151211131546.htm>.
Ghent University. (2015, December 11). Health labels influence flavor perception. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 26, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151211131546.htm
Ghent University. "Health labels influence flavor perception." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151211131546.htm (accessed May 26, 2017).

RELATED STORIES