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The taste of touch: Enhancing saltiness impressions through surface texture design

van Rompay, Thomas J.L., Groothedde, Sara
Food quality and preference 2019 v.73 pp. 248-254
food choices, healthy diet, packaging, potato chips, saltiness, sensory evaluation, supermarkets, taste, texture
Previous research demonstrates that surface textures of product packaging and sample cups can steer basic taste perceptions and product evaluations. This study investigates whether saltiness perceptions and related product evaluations following consumption of potato chips can be enhanced through texture design. Additionally, this study includes both regular chips and no-salt chips in order to test whether texture influences vary depending on saltiness levels. An experimental study was conducted at a supermarket in which shoppers participated in a taste test. Potato chips were sampled from either a regular or texture-enhanced sample cup. Results testify to the feasibility of enhancing saltiness impressions and related measures through texture design, but show that these effects vary with chips type and may backfire for no-salt chips. Implications for follow-up research, initiatives aimed at promoting healthy food choices, and design practice are discussed.