Food labels can affect memory of taste

22nd November 2011 - Fine Cut

The label on a food product may affect the way consumers perceive its taste, claims new research.

A study from Japan has indicated that the images on a food label has an unconscious effect on how the brain remembers the flavour of food and drink.

According to sciencedirect.com, the researchers came to their conclusion in a simple experiment which involved asking a sample audience to consume a number of fruit juice drinks and record how similar they were to an apple and peach juice they were offered before the experiment began. 

The researchers found that drinks with a label similar to the apple and peach juice were generally regarded as tasting more similar to those with different labels, regardless of what the bottle contained.  

Evaluating their results in a statement for foodnavigator.com, the researchers claimed that they have proven how important that labelling can be for food and drink producers.

It said: "When people select and buy foods, they usually cannot taste them, but must rely on recalling memories of the flavour. Indeed, it has been reported that decision making at the time of food purchasing is influenced by the memory of 'taste'.

"These results reveal that flavour memory can be biased toward that of the image labels during initial testing."

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