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Factors Affecting Perception of Flavours

At Work Week Foodie we believe that dieting does not work long term. Just avoiding certain foods and forcing upon yourself certain rigid dieting rules will not take you far. In a nutshell, dieting is mostly based on deprivation which is the main cause of the problem with dieting. There are different forms of deprivation like a lack of food, a regimen never allowing for certain foods e.g. candies, eating certain foods over and over again and last but not least eating food that is not truly satisfying. This usually comes from poor cooking skills and lack of creativity. Most people believe that eating healthy is all about consuming repetitively bland and tasteless meals.

What it takes to magnify the taste

What does it really take for a meal to be satisfying and one that does not leave you mentally hungry? Well it is all about creating a combination of flavours. It is also about texture, colours and of course moisture. Remember the last dry chicken breast you had? I know why you grimace been there done that my Foodie Friend. If you really want to satiated from a healthy meal it requires all the above factors to be present. After all we have different taste buds (sweet, salty and bitter) that need to satisfied. So what affects perception of flavour?

Temperature

Foods served at warm temperatures offer the strongest tastes. Heating foods releases volatile flavour compounds. They intensify our perception of doors. Think about cheese? Why is it serve at room temperature? to improve its eating quality and flavour.  Foods tend to lose their sour or sweet tastes both the colder and the hotter they become. It is best to adjust your meal’s final flavours at serving temperature.  Season hot foods when they are hot and cold foods when they are cold.

Consistency

A food’s consistency  also affects its flavour. Two foods with the same amount of taste and smell that differ in texture will differ in their perceived intensity. Think about heavy cream, one whipped and one not. The whipped one having more volume will have a milder flavour.

Contrasting tastes

Including into a meal contrasting tastes like sweet and sour will definitely have an influence on the perception of flavour. It all comes down to adding one taste to a food dominated by the other. A great example here would be adding a bit of sugar to vinaigrette. It will reduce the sourness of the dressing. How about adding a bit of lemon juice to a salmon. The same goes for adding something sweet, sour or salty to a dish with a predominantly bitter flavour. It will cut the bitterness.

Presence of fats

Do you remember last time you had this lean but dry chicken breast? Did it taste tasteless? Well try to put some avocado on top of it? It tastes better, right? Well avocado is mainly composed of fat. So why is the lean chicken breast tasting so much better with a bit of avocado or better cover with a nice guacamole? It is all about fat. Many of the chemical compounds that create tastes and aromas dissolve in the fats. These fats can be naturally occurring in foods or added to foods during cooking or eating. When these compounds are slowly released by evaporation or our saliva, they provide a sustained taste sensation. But beware. Too much of a good thing is never a good thing. If there is too little fat, the flavour compounds may not be released efficiently,and this equals  a dish with little sustained flavour. Too much fat creates a different issue. It will coat the tongue and physically interfere with the ability of taste receptors to perceive flavor compounds. Plus remember that fat carries 9 cals per one gram.

Color

I love the way my meals not only taste but even more the way they look. If you give me a super healthy meal that looks pale, bland and uninteresting I will have little interest in eating it. Unless of course I am starving but this I do avoid.  A food’s colour in my opinion immensely affects how people perceive the food’s flavour even before it is tasted. Why do you think fast food places offer such amazing food presentation? I learnt that their burgers taste so much better on the display than in reality. Colour is the core element to magnify the taste of my meals. When I look at meals I definitely feel like eating them. always try to focus on your foods colours as these influence their taste.

 

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Min. Sugar
Healthy Fats
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