A Spoon Can Change The Taste Of Your Yogurt: Could It Be?

Mar 17, 2016 04:20 AM EDT | By Anita Valensia

For all of this time, our perception of taste refers to something outside the bottle, the plate, or the knife. Researchers' latest study on 'mental seasoning' has made us questioned, is it happening in our mouth or in our brain?

Journal Flavor conducted a research asking a few people to eat yogurt using different cutleries material from plastic to silver. The published material on this experiment showed how the knives and spoons provide mental seasoning.

A psychologist at Oxford University, Charles Spence, found that the same yogurt could taste worse when using a plastic spoon. On the other hand, heavy spoon and heavy bowl (by weight) made the yogurt taste better. Spence explained that angular plates are best to serve bitter food ingredients such as coffee or dark chocolate.  

Dr. Zoe Laughlin from University College London did an experiment by testing various spoon materials made of silver, copper, gold, tin, chrome, zinc, and stainless steel. 50 volunteers had to spoon different foods using the utensils and the result showed that gold makes the stuff taste better.

Spence continued the research using cheese and compared different cutleries from spoon, fork to toothpick. Generally, people found the cheese tasted saltier when enjoyed using a heavy utensil. He concluded that it had to do with expense equation rather than the taste of cheese itself.

El Bulli restaurant owned by Ferran Adria serves Strawberry mousse on a white plate to make it taste sweeter by 10 percent. The color of plates according to Spence, can impact the dining experience. People are likely to eat less when the meals are served on contrast-color plate. A beverage like hot cocoa is said to be more delicious when consumed from a cold-color glass.

Although the research doesn't determine the ideal spoon each type of food but F&B companies can be informed by the findings. It helps manufacturers on how they package stuffs, not only to make it more appealing but also tastier. Spence also suggests chefs innovate their utensils besides giving attention to the food plating.

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