Pick vanilla to feel happy
Felling low? Well, a big helping of vanilla yoghurt might just be your saviour. European researchers have revealed that our mood is influenced by being pleasantly surprised or disappointed by the taste of food. The team applied this concept to yoghurt and discovered that vanilla had a much more positive effect than other flavours.
To determine the implicit emotion, or the unconscious emotional response produced by eating certain food items, a research team from the Netherlands, Austria and Finland conducted an experiment using yoghurt. Three groups of at least 24 participants had to taste pairs of yoghurts, each of which had the same brand and was marketed in the same way. The only difference between them was the flavour and the fat content. The team used a new method called the Emotive Projection Test, which consisted of showing the participants photographs of various people. The underlying idea was that they would project their emotions onto these other people, so that their judgment of others would give an indication of their own mood. The results, which were published in the journal Food Research International, revealed that liking a product had no effect on emotion. “This information could be very valuable to manufacturers, giving them a glimpse into how we respond to a product,” explained the study’s main author, Dr Jozina Mojet.