Our perception of how food tastes is affected by the cutlery we use to eat it, according to a report by Oxford University academics.
The study in the journal ‘Flavour ‘ by researchers Professor Charles Spence and Dr Vanessa Harrar suggests the brain makes judgements on food even before it goes in the mouth.
More than 100 students took part in three experiments looking at the influence of weight, shape and colour of cutlery on taste.
The results revealed that yoghurt was perceived as denser and more expensive when tasted from a light plastic spoon compared with an artificially weighted spoon.
Cheese seemed saltier when eaten from a knife rather than a fork, while white yoghurt was rated as sweeter when sampled from a white spoon than white yoghurt tasted on a black spoon.
“How we experience food is a multi-sensory experience involving the taste and feel of the food in our mouths, the aroma, and the feasting of our eyes,” said Professor Charles Spence and Dr Vanessa Harrar. “Even before we put food into our mouths our brains have made a judgment about it, which affects our overall experience.”