Technology Crisps are better in a blue bowl

Crisps are better in a blue bowl

A red or blue bowl increases the perception of salty taste. But only a blue bowl makes (salt-vinegar) crisps more desirable, say British psychologists. Perhaps it is an effect of the color codes of the packaging to which we are accustomed.

We’re talking about crisps and blue bowls today with Mathilde Fontez, editor-in-chief of the science magazine Epsiloon. Researchers have just proven that they are better in a blue bowl. This confirms previous studies on this strange effect of blue dishes.

franceinfo: Researchers had the idea of ​​studying the impact of the color of dishes on the taste of food. And they discover that it works. We must favor blue, right?

For chips yes: it is better to have a blue bowl. So the red bowl also gives good results, but it was in the blue bowl that the volunteers who took part in this experiment, conducted at the University of Portsmouth, preferred their crisps: they were saltier, they had more taste. In any case, do not choose a white bowl, it is the worst of the three colors tested by the researchers.

Are the effects really important?

They are significant, say the researchers, for one category of people in particular: those who claim to be picky eaters – about 20% of us. But this study is not the first to show an impact of the container on our perception of taste.

In 2011, psychologists had found this same effect of the blue bowl, for popcorn instead of chips. Followed by another study, still on popcorn – it must be believed that it is a “model food” – with a kind of food psychology lab mouse. This study had established that white containers reduce the taste of popcorn.

Should you throw away your white plates?

Not so fast! For the strawberry mousse, the white plate is positive: it accentuates the taste and the sweet sensation. Many studies have shown different effects: drinks served in a cold colored glass are considered more thirst-quenching; a yellow container accentuates the lemony taste.

Even the color of the cutlery seems to play a role: a team from Oxford showed in 2013 that strawberry yogurt looks sweeter in a white spoon than in a black one.

And do we know what caused it?

It could be an effect of packaging, which we are used to: blue is a code, for example, for salty products. The researchers also detail a contrast effect: when the colors of the food are accentuated by the container, it also accentuates their taste: the pink of the strawberry stands out better on a white spoon.

It would be a kind of transfer of the color of the containers onto the food: We know that the color of a food affects its taste. Everyone prefers red crocodile candies. It would be the same phenomenon, but: the researchers speak of “sensation transfer”.

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