One of my favorite things in the world is coming home after having a brisket cooking all day long. Really, it’s the same with any savory treat that cooks all day. The smell is amazing and the food’s never ready soon enough. Truly mouth-watering.
New research led by Dr Rene A de Wijk of the Top Institute Food and Nutrition in the Netherlands suggests that aromas may have an even more profound effect. The study, published in March in the journal Flavour, explains how the aroma of your food affects how big of a bite you take.
In this research, test subjects were presented with the smell of a custard dessert at varying intensities. They were allowed to control how much of the dessert they then wanted with the push of a button.
One might think that more intense the aroma, the more dessert you’d want. I know I would. Interestingly, however, this research discovered the stronger the aroma is, the smaller bites you actually take.
Smaller bites mean less overall flavor. Researchers think that when you get a good sniff of the food, you’re sort of getting a flavor of it also. In response, your body doesn’t need as much flavor in the form of a big bite.
Smaller bites also make you feel full more quickly, so perhaps the body reads a very strong aroma as coming from a food with more calories, so it’s trying to control what it ingests.
The scientists suggest that the effect of aromas on bite size, though modest, could be used to help people to better control portions during meals. Bacon scented Febreze coming soon to your diet supplements aisle? Whatever works.
I’m a little skeptical, because I still think the smell of some delicious concoctions only make me hungrier. Then again, I’m not exactly concerned with the science of my eating while doing said eating. Doubt I ever will be.
Thanks & Gig ‘Em.