The role of smell, taste, flavour and texture cues in the identification of vegetables.
Sommaire de l'article
It has been shown that the identification of many foods including vegetables based on flavour cues is often difficult. The effect of providing texture cues in addition to flavour cues on the identification of foods and the effect of providing taste cues only on the identification of foods have not been studied. The aim of this study was to assess the role of smell, taste, flavour and texture cues in the identification of ten vegetables commonly consumed in The Netherlands (broccoli, cauliflower, French bean, leek, bell pepper, carrot, cucumber, iceberg lettuce, onion and tomato). Subjects (n = 194) were randomly assigned to one of four test conditions which differed in the sensory cues available for vegetable identification: taste, smell (orthonasal), flavour (taste and smell) and flavour-texture (taste, smell and texture). Blindfolded subjects were asked to identify the vegetable from a list of 24 vegetables. Identification was the highest in the flavour-texture condition (87.5%). Identification was significantly lower in the flavour condition (62.8%). Identification was the lowest when only taste cues (38.3%) or only smell cues (39.4%) were provided. For four raw vegetables (carrot, cucumber, onion and tomato) providing texture cues in addition to flavour cues did not significantly change identification suggesting that flavour cues were sufficient to identify these vegetables. Identification frequency increased for all vegetables when perceived intensity of the smell, taste or flavour cue increased. We conclude that providing flavour cues (taste and smell) increases identification compared to only taste or only smell cues, combined flavour and texture cues are needed for the identification of many vegetables commonly consumed in The Netherlands.