Psychologists have shown how the color of dishes affects the taste of food

(ORDO NEWS) — People with extreme food selectivity perceive the same dishes differently depending on the color of the dishes from which they eat. Experiments have shown that food in white bowls seems less attractive to them, and in blue – more salty.

One of the eating disorders is the extreme selectivity of nutrition. Such people are unnecessarily picky in their choice of food and are reluctant to try anything new.

This leads to a limited diet, calorie and nutritional deficiencies. Selective eating disorder is included in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), and scientists are looking for ways to help such people.

Psychologists from the University of Portsmouth have shown that this can be done by taking advantage of the influence that the color of dishes has on the perception of the taste of food.

“If you want to encourage them to eat more vegetables that seem ‘too bitter,’ you can serve vegetables on a plate or in a bowl, which enhances the sensation of sweetness,” says Lorenzo Stafford.

Stafford and his colleagues set up experiments with 50 volunteers, dividing them into groups with selective nutrition and control, without special food preferences.

Participants ate the same dishes in white, red, or blue bowls. They then ranked the food by pleasantness and rated its saltiness.

In the control group, no noticeable effect of color on taste perception was found. On the other hand, participants with high food selectivity rated the same dish differently in dishes of different colors.

So, the least attractive food in red bowls seemed to them. And in whites, it was perceived as less salty than the same dishes in blue and red bowls.

Scientists attribute the latter to the fact that residents of the UK participated in the experiments, where highly salty snacks are most often sold in blue-red packages.

Nevertheless, experiments have unequivocally demonstrated that the influence of the color of dishes on the perception of taste really exists and it may well become one of the means of helping people with eating disorders. It remains to more accurately figure out which colors and how exactly affect the taste.

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