Environmental Sounds Influence the Multisensory Perception of Chocolate Gelati.
Lin YHT., Hamid N., Shepherd D., Kantono K., Spence C.
Recently, it has been shown that various auditory stimuli modulate flavour perception. The present study attempts to understand the effects of environmental sounds (park, food court, fast food restaurant, cafe, and bar sounds) on the perception of chocolate gelato (specifically, sweet, bitter, milky, creamy, cocoa, roasted, and vanilla notes) using the Temporal Check-All-That-Apply (TCATA) method. Additionally, affective ratings of the auditory stimuli were obtained using the Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM) in terms of their valence, arousal, and dominance. In total, 58 panellists rated the sounds and chocolate gelato in a sensory laboratory. The results revealed that bitterness, roasted, and cocoa notes were more evident when the bar, fast food, and food court sounds were played. Meanwhile, sweetness was cited more in the early mastication period when listening to park and café sounds. The park sound was significantly higher in valence, while the bar sound was significantly higher in arousal. Dominance was significantly higher for the fast food restaurant, food court, and bar sound conditions. Intriguingly, the valence evoked by the pleasant park sound was positively correlated with the sweetness of the gelato. Meanwhile, the arousal associated with bar sounds was positively correlated with bitterness, roasted, and cocoa attributes. Taken together, these results clearly demonstrate that people's perception of the flavour of gelato varied with the different real-world sounds used in this study.