Food Colour and Appearance

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Chromameter This hand-held instrument provides quantitative colour measurements and is robust enough to be operated in production environments. Ideal for use during NPD or reformulation trials. Spectrophotometer This is a laboratory based instrument that provides very accurate quantitative colour measurements, calculated from measurements of the full spectrum.

Two measurement modes are available, depending on the nature of the sample. Uniform solid materials and powders are measured in reflectance mode. Transparent liquids are measured in transmittance mode.

Food Color and Appearance by John B. This book describes the philosophy of total appearance of food, the factors comprising it, and its application to the food industry. The new edition has been thoroughly updated, and includes new material on information transfer theory covering all sectors of the industry. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. Published July 31st by Springer first published January More Details Original Title. Other Editions 6. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about Food Color and Appearance , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Food Color and Appearance. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. This is presumably because it is easier to manipulate the level of colour in solutions [ 33 ].

That said, intriguing research by Shermer and Levitan [ 48 ] has recently demonstrated that people also expect more intensely red-coloured salsas to be spicier that is, more piquant. One final point to note here is that it may be important to pay careful attention to the methodological details from the various studies of the psychological effect of colour on flavour intensity. The reason being that one study has obtained differing effects of food colour on orthonasal and retronasal judgments of a commercial fruit-flavoured water drink [ 56 ].

In particular, colouring a tangerine-pineapple-guava-flavoured solution red led to odour enhancement in those participants who sniffed the odour orthonasally, while giving rise to a reduction in perceived odour intensity when the same olfactory stimulus was presented retronasally instead. Koza et al. By contrast, the threat of poisoning from foodstuffs located outside the mouth is obviously going to be less severe. Whatever the explanation for Koza et al. Null results have been obtained by some researchers for example, [ 44 , 57 ].

Clearly, the addition of food colouring can influence thresholds and ratings of stimulus intensity. However, when exactly such crossmodal effects will be observed is harder to predict with any confidence. According to Koza et al. However, perhaps, one also needs to take a step back and consider what happens if the sensory expectations set by the intensity of food colouring fail to match up with the experience when a food or beverage item is actually tasted by the participant or consumer.

In the real world, this might be expected to give rise to a negatively valenced disconfirmation of expectation response [ 21 , 31 , 32 ]. One might also be tempted to wonder whether or not participants noticed any discrepancy between what they saw and what they tasted [ 67 ]. While such an assumption is presumably likely out there in the real world, it is not so clearly the case for those participants taking part in laboratory research where they may have been exposed to a whole series of inappropriately coloured samples to taste and evaluate over the course of their experimental session.

What is more, the research varies between those studies in which the researchers have been very explicit about the fact that the colour cues were designed to be misleading [ 47 , 68 ], through to those who have done their utmost to hide the purpose of their study and the potentially misleading nature of the colours from their participants [ 69 ].


Oram et al. Four possible drink flavours chocolate, orange, pineapple, and strawberry were presented in four different colours brown, orange, yellow, and red , thus giving rise to a total of 16 possible drinks. The participants had to try and discriminate the flavour of the drinks. Importantly, in this and the majority of the other studies that have been reported so far, the participants were given no information about the possibility that the colour of the solutions might have been misleading a point to which we will return later.

Research by Zampini et al. Importantly, the crossmodal effects of beverage colour on flavour identification demonstrated by Zampini et al. Such results therefore hint at the automaticity of such crossmodal effects. Summary of the results of Zampini et al.

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The majority of the research that has been published to date has convincingly demonstrated that food colour affects the ability of people to correctly identify the flavour of food and drink see Spence et al. Although beyond the scope of this review, it is perhaps also worth noting that food colouring can influence the perceived thirst-quenching or refreshing properties of drinks as well [ 41 , 72 - 74 ]. In the real world see below , the consumer normally has a number of other cues to utilize when trying to judge the likely sensory and hedonic qualities of food and drink.

Colour in Food

As shown by Zampini et al. What is more, similar food colours may give rise to qualitatively different flavour expectations depending on the category of product under consideration for example, soft drinks, cake, noodles, curry, and so on and possibly also the brand cf. As such, there is clearly a need for more research addressing the influence of food colour across different kinds of food product and as a function of branding in order to get a more complete, not to mention market-relevant, understanding of the psychological effect of food colour.

Given the ambiguity in the meaning of colour in foods and beverages, it can sometimes be important that the name and description of a food or beverage set the right sensory or hedonic expectations or else help to disambiguate between the different possible meanings that may be associated with a given colour.

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The classic example here comes from the work of Yeomans and colleagues [ 80 ]. The participants in this study were given a bright pink ice cream to taste. Those participants who had not been given any information about the dish and hence who were led by their eyes into expecting that they would taste a strawberry-flavoured ice cream which has the same pinkish-red colour did not like the dish when they tried it.

Specifically, they rated the frozen savoury smoked salmon ice cream as tasting too salty. By contrast, those participants in the other two groups rated the seasoning of the dish as being just right, and, what is more, liked the savoury ice far more as well see [ 81 - 83 ], for related research. These results therefore demonstrate that the meaning of colour in food and drink can be altered simply by the description that is given to a product or dish [ 1 ].

Generally speaking that is, in all environments excepting perhaps the modernist restaurant , it is important to avoid disconfirmed expectation [ 1 , 84 ]. In other words, it can be argued that the situation that is typically studied in the laboratory setting is quite unlike that of everyday life see also [ 85 - 87 ].

Color Measurement for the Food and Beverage Industry

Hence, one concern here is that the results of much of the research that has been conducted in the laboratory may actually end up giving a biased view of the importance of colour in multisensory flavour perception. Note that in the laboratory situation, colour is often the only cue that participants have to go on when making their judgments of expected flavour.

By contrast, in the majority of real-world consumption situations, colour is but one of many cues including branding, pricing, labelling, and so on that the consumer can use. One other product-extrinsic cue that can modulate the meaning of colour in beverages is the nature of the glass or receptacle in which that drink happens to be presented [ 88 , 89 ].

The same colour drink may have a very different meaning if shown in a plastic bathroom cup than in a cocktail glass, say. It is important to realize that the psychological effects of food colouring are not restricted to the sensory-discriminative domain. It has often been suggested that food colouring can modulate certain of our food-related behaviours as well [ 91 , 92 ]. Certainly, getting the colour right can play an important role in food acceptance, liking, and hence, ultimately, food intake [ 24 , 93 - 97 ]. Though, as pointed out by Garber et al.

And just as there can be a sensory disconfirmation of expectation as outlined above , there can also be a hedonic disconfirmation of expectation - that is, when a consumer realizes that they do not like a food or beverage as much as they were expecting that they would. Whether sensory-specific satiety or boredom is the most appropriate explanation for such results is still being deliberated by researchers see [ 92 ], for a review. So, for example, Geier et al.

Researchers have been interested in the response of consumers to food colouring that they associate with products that have been in some way spoiled. According to Crumpacker [ 14 ], p. This despite the fact that those who tried it reported it to taste perfectly acceptable; see also [ 59 , 81 , ], on the preferred colour of this staple of the breakfast table. The only thing that may have struck any of the diners as odd was how dim the lighting was. Part-way through the meal, the lighting was returned to normal, revealing that the steak had been artificially coloured blue, the chips looked green, and the peas had been coloured red.

It is noticeable how the majority of the research on the psychological impact of off-colour in food is rather anecdotal in nature presumably because it can be difficult to get ethical approval to present food to participants and have them believe that the colour indicates that it has gone off. Nevertheless, the evidence that has been published to date does seem to highlight the strong avoidance responses that such food colouring can induce, especially in the case of meats and fish that look off.

The Important Effexts of Food Colours on Appetite Essay

Over the years, there has been ongoing concerns expressed about the negative health and well-being consequences that are apparently associated with the consumption of certain artificial food colourings, this despite their being rated as being safe and tasteless [ 24 , - ]. This had led some consumers to search out those foods that are free from all colouring. However, such products generally do not taste that good.

A less extreme reaction to concerns over artificial food colourings has been to search out natural colourings that better match the sensory properties desired by the food producers: This includes everything from trying to deliver a wide enough range of natural colours [ ], through to improving the stability of natural colourings, at least for those products that are likely to have a long shelf life [ - ]. Of course, that food colouring is natural does not in-and-of-itself necessarily make it appealing to the consumer.

Table of Contents

Unappealing to most consumers, one imagines. Nowadays, though, the red colouring comes from red cabbage instead [ ]. And what, exactly, constitutes natural is not obvious.

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