taste

Lee Sweetlove’s research group studies the regulation and engineering of plant metabolic networks, which could lead to improvements in food crops, such as increased yields or enhanced flavour.

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What makes for the perfect dining experience? New book reveals how there is so much more to eating out than the food on our plates.

The Perfect Meal - The Multisensory Science of Food and Dining

By Charles Spence and Betina Piqueras-Fiszman

Published: 18th September 2014

What exactly makes the act of eating out so enjoyable? For some, it’s the flavour of the food, for others, the people they are sharing it with. The reality, however, is far more multisensory. Delivering great food means understanding how one sense affects another and knowing exactly how to bring each of those components together. Welcome to ‘gastrophysics’, a revolutionary new approach to the science of the perfect meal. Providing the latest insights from a diverse range of fields, including experimental psychology, design, neuroscience, sensory marketing, behavioural economics and the culinary and sensory sciences, Charles Spence and Betina Piqueras-Fiszman draw on expert opinion, delve into the latest research and make reservations at some of the world’s most cutting-edge restaurants in order to investigate of all of the elements that contribute to a diner’s enjoyment of a meal.

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Our perception of how food tastes is influenced by cutlery, research suggests. Size, weight, shape and colour all have an effect on flavour, says a University of Oxford team.

The study in the journal Flavour suggests the brain makes judgements on food even before it goes in the mouth.

Read more about this research on the BBC news website

Read the journal article in Flavour

Listen to Charles Spence talking about this research on Radio 4's Material World

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Charles Spence, Professor of Experimental Psychology, took part in a recent Food Programme episode on Radio 4, talking about non-food factors that affect food perception, such as the colour of tableware.

You can listen to the programme on the BBC website here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01lsts3

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People » Charles Spence

Professor of Experimental Psychology & University Lecturer, Somerville College

Charles' research looks at the role of attention in multisensory perception, including sensory perception of food.

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