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Full Access The influence of the feel of the container on the perception of food within

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The influence of the feel of the container on the perception of food within

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For more content, see Multisensory Research and Spatial Vision.

Most of the published research on the perception of food and drink has focused on what happens in-mouth during consumption. It is, however, important to note that people’s judgments are also profoundly influenced by other sensory cues, such as haptic input, be it their direct (oral-somatosensory) contact with the food itself, or their indirect contact with the product packaging, plateware, or cutlery as well. A series of experiments are reported which together demonstrate that people also evaluate the sensory characteristics, and even the quality and estimated price, of foods and beverages based on attributes, such as the weight or the texture, of the items we utilize during consumption (be it the cutlery, the tableware, or the product packaging). For instance, yoghurt samples were rated as being significantly more dense and more satiating when consumed from a heavy bowl than when exactly the same yoghurt was consumed from an identical bowl that was somewhat lighter. In another study, the texture of a yoghurt pot was shown to influence participants’ ratings of certain of the textural attributes of foods. We have also investigated the effect of the weight of the cutlery. These results suggest that the haptic cues associated with the consumption of food and drink can also influence our in-mouth perception of their textural properties. Given that the participants did not touch the food directly with their hands, the phenomenon observed might reflect an example of ‘sensation transference’ between what participants feel in their hands and what they perceive in their mouths.

Affiliations: 1: 2University of Oxford, GB

Most of the published research on the perception of food and drink has focused on what happens in-mouth during consumption. It is, however, important to note that people’s judgments are also profoundly influenced by other sensory cues, such as haptic input, be it their direct (oral-somatosensory) contact with the food itself, or their indirect contact with the product packaging, plateware, or cutlery as well. A series of experiments are reported which together demonstrate that people also evaluate the sensory characteristics, and even the quality and estimated price, of foods and beverages based on attributes, such as the weight or the texture, of the items we utilize during consumption (be it the cutlery, the tableware, or the product packaging). For instance, yoghurt samples were rated as being significantly more dense and more satiating when consumed from a heavy bowl than when exactly the same yoghurt was consumed from an identical bowl that was somewhat lighter. In another study, the texture of a yoghurt pot was shown to influence participants’ ratings of certain of the textural attributes of foods. We have also investigated the effect of the weight of the cutlery. These results suggest that the haptic cues associated with the consumption of food and drink can also influence our in-mouth perception of their textural properties. Given that the participants did not touch the food directly with their hands, the phenomenon observed might reflect an example of ‘sensation transference’ between what participants feel in their hands and what they perceive in their mouths.

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/content/journals/10.1163/187847612x646875
2012-01-01
2016-12-09

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