The ins and outs of bite size
Research published in Flavour journal shows bite size depends on what is in the bite. The constituents and texture impact bite size, but the aroma of the food is a big contributor to bite sizes.
Smelly foods tend to be consumed in much smaller bites. The principal does not only apply to foods which are often regarded as being “bad” smelling, such as gorgonzola cheese, it also applied to foods with a pleasant aroma too.
It makes sense, the smell of a food is intimately connected with taste. Big tasting foods are likely to go down better, in smaller bites.
The sizzling scented custard desert
The power of scent on bite size was tested using a rather bland custard-like dessert, which was scented up, with the help of a little technological wizardry.
Participants faced the custard pudding, along with a carefully controlled whiff of flavour, which was wafted past their nose. The participants could control how much pudding was loaded onto their spoon by pressing a button.
The stronger the whiff, the smaller the amount of pudding loaded on the spoon. Conversely, pudding with little to no smell, was stuffed on the spoon.
Tantalizing the tongue
The team concluded the tongue is looking to be tingled.
If it knows there is a lot of tingle in the bite, it goes small. But, if the all the signs point to rather bland load, it opts for a big bite to maximize the tongue tingle.
Why fork loads matter ?
If you’re thinking who cares – big fork loads could be a recipe for overeating. Rapidly shovelling fork loads of food into the system quickly, can create a disconnect in the brain wiring monitoring how many calories you’re consuming.
A momentary delay in the “I am FULL” message, can leave you overloaded with calories. Calories that will ultimately end up being worn – on your hips and belly as fat.
Choose to make your food smell
The results of this study suggest adding a little aroma to your food, could drop the amount of food on each fork load by up to 10 %.
This is not a big difference, but it could be big enough, to stop you from taking too many bites at your next meal. Counting bites is a proven weight loss strategy.
So go hot and spicy at dinner time. It is a win-win-win strategy
- The food will taste better
- The meal will cause a little less oxidative stress
- And you might just eat a little less
NOTE : If you have a tendency to eat long past the point of fullness – you will need to listen for the “I am full” body signal, don’t let your tongue tell you to feed it more, because of the taste tingle.Food aroma affects bite size. Flavour (2012) 1:3 Rene A de Wijk, Ilse A Polet, Wilbert Boek, Saskia Conraad and Johannes HF Bult.
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