On strongest memory of taste tending to be the first bite (olfactory change blindness)

💎 On strongest memory of taste tending to be the first bite (olfactory change blindness)

We are all in a constant state of ‘olfactory change blindness’. Intriguingly, this is something that the food companies have been trying to exploit to their, and hopefully our, advantage for a few years now. The basic idea is that you load all the tasty but unhealthy ingredients into the first and possibly last bite of a food, and reduce their concentration in the middle of the product, when the consumers are not paying so much attention to the tasting experience. Just think about a loaf of bread with the salt asymmetrically distributed towards the crust. The consumer will have a great-tasting first bite, and then their brain will ‘fill in’ the rest by assuming that it tastes exactly like the first mouthful did. This strategy will probably work just as long as the meal isn’t high tea and the taster eating cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off! Or imagine something like a bar of chocolate, which most people will presumably start and finish at the ends, not in the middle. In fact, Unilever has a number of patents in just this space.

Excerpt from: Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating by Charles Spence

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