A large sample study on the influence of the multisensory environment on the wine drinking experience
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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- Scientific articles 
Original versionFlavour, 3(2014)8:1-12 10.1186/2044-7248-3-8
Background: Researchers have demonstrated that a variety of visual factors, such as the colour and balance of the elements on a plate, can influence a diner’s perception of, and response to, food. Here, we report on a study designed to assess whether placing the culinary elements of a dish in an art-inspired manner would modify the diner’s expectations and hence their experience of food. The dish, a salad, was arranged in one of three different presentations: One simply plated (with all of the elements of the salad tossed together), another with the elements arranged to look like one of Kandinsky’s paintings, and a third arrangement in which the elements were organized in a neat (but non-artistic) manner. The participants answered two questionnaires, one presented prior to and the other after eating the dish, to evaluate their expectations and actual sensory experience. Results: Prior to consumption, the art-inspired presentation resulted in the food being considered as more artistic, more complex, and more liked than either of the other presentations. The participants were also willing to pay more for the Kandinsky-inspired plating. Interestingly, after consumption, the results revealed higher tastiness ratings for the art-inspired presentation. Conclusions: These results support the idea that presenting food in an aesthetically pleasing manner can enhance the experience of a dish. In particular, the use of artistic (visual) influences can enhance a diner’s rating of the flavour of a dish. These results are consistent with previous findings, suggesting that visual display of a food can influence both a person’s expectations and their subsequent experience of a dish, and with the common assumption that we eat with our eyes first.
This is an open access journal available at http://www.flavourjournal.com/