Researchers Say Music Affects the Way Our Food Tastes

Staff Writer
Researchers Say Music Affects the Way Our Food Tastes
Researchers Say Music Affects the Way Our Food Tastes
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The next time you’re cooking a gourmet meal, have guests listen to a Beethoven symphony while munching.

We already know that music can help improve memory, and also is linked to greater productivity and creativity levels, but did you know that music may also affect how our food tastes? Researchers at the University at Oxford have found that listening to different pitches enhances the flavor of various flavor profiles: high-pitched notes like that of a flute or a soprano singer boost sour and sweet flavors, while low-pitches, like that of a bass or a tuba, can augment the flavor of bitter foods.

It’s called “multi-sensory food perception” and is yet another study that shows the close links between our five senses. Think of how simple sounds affect our experience with food: the crunching of an apple, or the crackling of rice cereal.

Researcher Charles Spence explained to NPR that he and his team are working on synesthetic sounds designed to augment dining experiences.

“You can then start creating experiences where you play particular kinds of music or soundscape to diners or to drinkers while they're tasting," he says. "We're able to show that we can change the experience in [the] mouth by about 5 or 10 percent."

We can’t wait for the first-ever “dinner symphony.” 

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