Food Color and Its Impact on Taste/Flavor Perception

Charles Spence*, Betina Piqueras-Fiszman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Color is perhaps the single most important product-intrinsic sensory cue when it comes to setting our expectations regarding the likely taste and flavor of food and drink. To date, a large body of research has demonstrated that changing the hue or intensity/saturation of the color of a variety of different food and beverage items exerts a sometimes dramatic impact on the expectations, and often on the subsequent taste/flavor experiences of participants in the lab, as well as consumers under the more naturalistic conditions of everyday life. It is important to note that food colors can have rather different meanings, and hence give rise to differing expectations in these different age groups, not to mention in those from different cultures. By gaining a better understanding of the sensory and hedonic expectations that are elicited by food color in different groups of individuals, researchers are now coming to better understand the various ways in which what we see can modulate the multisensory perception of flavor, and alter our food behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMultisensory Flavor Perception: From Fundamental Neuroscience Through to the Marketplace
EditorsBetina Piqueras-Fiszman, Charles Spence
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherElsevier Inc. Academic Press
ISBN (Print)9780081003510, 9780081003503
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameWoodhead Publishing Series in Food Science, Technology and Nutrition


  • Expectations
  • Flavor
  • Liking
  • Multisensory
  • Sensory dominance
  • Taste
  • Vision


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