Aromas can affect amount people eat, study suggests
Post by Sean Davies
on 23 March 2012 in Food & Drink
Research has suggested that people will consume less if the food they are eating has a strong aroma.
Sensory scientist Rene de Wijk conducted a series of experiments in the Netherlands in a bid to discover whether the way food smells can affect how much a person eats.
According to a report by Time magazine, de Wijk provided 10 volunteers with a device which allowed them to pump a custard dessert into their mouths. He then used a separate device to deliver a controlled amount of cream aroma to the back of their throats and noses.
After 30 sessions it was noticed that the more cream aroma a subject received, the less dessert they ate.
De Wijk said: "The stronger the smell, the smaller the bite size. And it didn’t take much aroma to change the amount people ate.
"Our concentrations were very low, hardly detectable, so the effect is quite subtle."
The researchers concluded that by manipulating food aroma, it was possible to decrease the amount of food a person ate per bite by between 5 and 10 per cent. Consequently, it may be possible to aid weight loss by combining aroma control and portion control.
The research was published in the peer-reviewed online journal Flavour.