Music can make food more comforting
A new study suggests that comfort foods get even more comforting if you eat them with the right kind of musical ambiance.
Previous research shows that genres of music can elicit different emotions, and that the enjoyment of some foods can be affected by emotions. The new work takes the next step and looks at how music affects the perception of food, Discovery News reported.
Han-Seok Seo of the University of Arkansas said that little has been known about the influence of background music genre on food perception.
Most of the studies investigating influences of background music have focused on eating and shopping behaviors, Seo added.
He noted that research has shown when French or German music was played in a wine store, wines from the same country as the music outsold the other.
In this new experiment, 99 taste-testers (46 males and 53 female) sampled a "comfort" food -- one that is associated with emotions, versus a food that is not, while listening to the same piece of music which had been re-composed as classical, jazz, hip-hop and rock. The emotional food was, not surprisingly, milk chocolate. The non-emotional food was bell pepper. Afterward the subjects were asked to rate the foods.
Among their findings was the discovery that jazz made the chocolate taste measurably better and hip hop did not. The same effect wasn't seen on the bell peppers.
The research is published in the journal Appetite.
(Posted on 01-03-2014)