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The Colors We Eat

Food color does more than guide us—it changes the experience of taste.

Food companies, which regularly do taste testing internally, know the confusion that color can create. Their trained sensory panelists evaluate new foods under red lighting, so that their powers of discrimination are not thrown off by traditional color-flavor expectations. As Jeannine Delwiche, a sensory scientist at Mead Johnson Nutrition (and before that at Pepsi-co) notes, at the early stages of a food product’s development, “the color often isn’t set.” Changes in the way the food is eventually processed may change its appearance. “The assumption is you can address that separately,” she says. “Meanwhile you want to know how the flavor’s doing.” The red light, she says, compels the panelists to focus more on other attributes, like texture and flavor.

Despre Claudiu Degeratu
Expert in securitate nationala, internationala, NATO, UE, aparare si studii strategice

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