The order in which your senses interact with food has a tremendous impact on how much you like it. That’s the premise of a new study led by the University of South Florida. The findings, published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, show that food tastes better if you see it before smelling it. Researchers conducted experiments with both food and beverages administered to participants in different orders: visual before scent, scent before visual, only visual and only scent. In one study, participants rated fruit snacks packaged in an envelope as tasting better when they could see the item before smelling it, compared with their counterparts who smelled the snacks before seeing them. The same results occurred with cookies and lemonade. “Scents play a critical role in influencing taste perceptions; however, people can process a scent better in their brains when it is preceded by a corresponding visual cue, such as color,” says researcher Dipayan Biswas.
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