The influence of age of the consumer and food novelty on incidentally learned food memory was investigated by providing a meal containing novel and familiar target items under the pretense of a study on hunger feelings to 34 young and 36 older participants in France and to 24 young and 20 older participants in Denmark and testing them a day later on recognition of the targets among a set of distractors that were variations of the target made by adding or subtracting taste (sour or sweet) or aroma (orange or red berry flavor). Memory was also tested by asking participants to indicate whether the target and the distractors were equal to or less or more intense than the remembered target in sourness sweetness and aroma. The results showed that when novelty is defined as whether people know or not a given product, it has a strong influence on memory performance, but that age did not, the elderly performing just as well as the young. The change in the distractors was more readily detected with familiar than with novel targets where the participants were still confused by the target itself. Special attention is given to the influence of the incidental learning paradigm on the outcome and to the ways in which it differs from traditional recognition experiments.
- perceived fragrance complexity
- incidental-learning experiment
- episodic odor recognition
- implicit memory
- explicit memory
- flavor memory
- young persons