Does color affect taste? Logically, it is easy to think that the color of a food shouldn’t affect how it tastes, but this theory was proven false. Most people are aware that the sense of taste and the sense of smell are closely tied together, but not many people know that it is also tied to the sense of sight. Human beings are used to having their food look a certain way in appearance and color. If the food substance has a new or different color, the people will convince or deceive themselves into thinking that the substance actually tastes differently. There are added colorings in many foods that most people are not even aware about. Manufacturers add color into food for many different reasons. Some manufacturers add color to food to keep a product standardized. For example, butter naturally can be white to dark yellow in color. Most producers color it light yellow because it is what consumers expect or want. Some manufacturers also add color to foods to make them more appetizing. For example, coca cola is a colorless, transparent substance. Manufacturers add the brownish color to make it more tempting to the consumer. The consumer’s eyes are the first place that must be convinced before a food is tried. There are many tasty food products that fail in the market place only because the appearance does not look appealing enough to the consumer.
A person’s visual perspective can fool the taste buds into perceiving that a certain food tastes a certain way. For example In Fast Food Nation, author Eric Schlosser gave several participants blue steak and green French fries. Upon seeing the grossly colored foods, many participants refused to finish or even consume their meal. It seemed that when the food was an improbable color it was much less appetizing. On another note, individuals identify foods with a natural color (green, orange, red, yellow) to be healthier for themselves and others.
Studies show that by eating a certain type of food, such as a sweet or sour taste, it may trigger a certain color to mind. For example, when opening a bag of sour candy and selecting a yellow sugary piece, people may think it will taste like lemon because of the color. People will think that a certain color is coordinated with a food because of their prior knowledge of the same taste, just a different substance.
Research has been done to test whether children are more susceptible to eat food with coloring. To create a mental image when Heinz EZ squirt ketchup came out with six brand new colors (green, purple, pink, orange, teal, and blue), children believed that the colorful ketchup was more appetizing because of what they perceived from the color to their taste. Another test that was made was a group of twenty children were gathered and given a red colored drink. Each child tasted the drink and was asked what flavor they thought it was. Most children stated that they believed the drink was either cheery flavored, or fruit punch. None of the children guessed the true flavor, which was grape. This shows that the children’s perception of color overruled their taste buds. Unlike children most adults prefer their meal to be naturally colored. When adults are given tests such as the test with the Ketchup they find them very gruesome and prefer the original red color.
Another thing that affects taste is the color of the plate the food is being served on. Researchers took a group of fifty-three people of all ages, and gave them strawberry flavored mouse on a white and a black plate. Although the mousse was the same on both plates, most of the participants said that the one on the white plate tasted better. The tests showed that participants thought the strawberry mousse tasted better