Jump to Main Content
Don't judge new foods by their appearance! How visual and oral sensory cues affect sensory perception and liking of novel, heterogeneous foods
- Santagiuliana, Marco, Bhaskaran, Vani, Scholten, Elke, Piqueras-Fiszman, Betina, Stieger, Markus
- Food quality and preference 2019 v.77 pp. 64-77
- flavor, foods, hardness, hedonic scales, processed cheeses, sensation, sweet peppers, texture
- This study investigated how exteroceptive and interoceptive cues influence sensory perception and liking of novel, heterogeneous foods. Twelve heterogeneous cheeses were prepared by adding bell pepper pieces to homogeneous processed cheese matrices. Bell pepper pieces differed in size, hardness, and concentration. Consumers (n = 73) evaluated cheeses in three conditions. In the first condition, subjects tasted cheeses and rated them on sensory properties and liking while being blindfolded (interoceptive condition). In the second condition, participants evaluated expected sensory properties and liking of cheeses presented as pictures together with product descriptions (exteroceptive condition). In the third condition, consumers tasted and evaluated cheeses while visual cues and product descriptions were provided (combined condition). The hardness and concentration of bell pepper pieces predominantly determined variations in sensory perception in the interoceptive and combined conditions, whereas bell pepper size or concentration influenced expected sensory properties in the exteroceptive condition the most. Consumers expected to like the cheeses with small-medium sized bell pepper pieces the most. However, from the other conditions, we observed that piece size does not play a role in determining liking, and that cheeses with soft pieces were actually preferred most. From the comparison of the three conditions, we conclude that both visual and oral sensory cues influence texture and flavour perception of heterogeneous cheeses. Consumers’ liking was not influenced by the cheese’s exteroceptive cues during the combined condition. In contrast, interoceptive cues as hardness played a large role in determining variations in consumer’s hedonic responses. We conclude that for novel, heterogeneous foods liking after consumption is determined by textural product properties and depends to a large extent on the confirmation of consumers’ sensory expectations.