Hot Chocolate Tastes Better in an Orange Cup Say Scientists

Scientists from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the University of Oxford say they have proven hot chocolate tastes better in an orange or cream colored cup than in a white or red cup. The researchers conducted an experiment in which 57 participants evaluated samples of hot chocolate served in four different types of plastic cup. The cups were all the same size, but were different colors, including white, cream, red and orange. Just plastic cups were used. The research was about color and not about whether hot chocolate would taste better in a glass or a mug.

The researchers say the study found participants found hot chocolate served in orange and cream colored cups tasted better. The participants also mentioned the chocolate was slightly sweeter and more aromatic in a cream colored cup.

Betina Piqueras-Fiszman, researcher at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, said in a release, "There is no fixed rule stating that flavour and aroma are enhanced in a cup of a certain colour or shade. In reality this varies depending on the type of food, but the truth is that, as this effect occurs, more attention should be paid to the colour of the container as it has more potential than one could imagine."

The study was published in the Journal of Sensory Studies.

The researchers note previous studies that have found color of the container can influence the perceived flavor. They say soft drinks served in cold colors, like blue, seem more thirst-quenching than soft drinks served in warm colors, like red. Soft drinks served in pink containers are perceived as being more sugary. The scientists also say that it has been proven that a strawberry mousse appears to be sweeter and more intense on a white plate compared to a black plate.

Posted on January 3, 2013

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