Academics have examined the effect of colour among picky and non-picky eaters, in a first-of-its-kind study.
Previous research has demonstrated that the smell and texture of food can affect how it tastes for picky eaters, but little is known about other senses.
A team from the University of Portsmouth has discovered the colour of the bowl in which food is served also influences taste perception.
The experiment comprised nearly 50 people to measure their food neophobia, which is a reluctance to eat or try new food. The participants, who were divided into picky and non-picky eaters, then tasted the same snacks served in red, white and blue bowls.
Results revealed that both the perceived saltiness and desirability of the foods were influenced by colour in the picky group, but not the non-picky group.
Specifically, the snack was rated as higher in saltiness in the red and blue versus white bowl, and least desirable when served in the red bowl. In the UK, salty snacks are often sold in blue packaging, and the team believe that this might explain some of the saltiness findings.
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