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New research: does flavored yogurt makes us feel happy?

New research: does flavored yogurt makes us feel happy?

We all know what it’s like to take a bite of something and expecting a specific taste, but tasting something different instead- it can be an enjoyable or disgusting experience. New research, published in Food Research International, reveals that being pleasantly surprised or disappointed with a food product, can actually change a person’s mood.

The taste of yogurt

Using different measuring methods for people’s emotional responses, a team of researchers from the Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research in the Netherlands searched for the emotional effects – if any – that eating different yogurts had on people. Three groups of at least 24 participants were each given a pair of yogurts to taste. The pairs of yogurts were of the same brand and were marketed in the same way, but had different flavors or fat content. Afterwards, the team tested their emotions by using four methods, including a new emotive projection test.

A sensory effect

The team also looked at the sensory effect of the yogurts. There was no difference in the emotional responses to strawberry versus pineapple yogurts, but low-fat versions led to more positive emotional responses. Most strikingly, vanilla yogurt elicited a strong positive emotional response, supporting previous evidence that a subtle vanilla scent in places like hospital waiting rooms can reduce aggression and encourage relationships among patients and between patients and staff.

Reference: “Are implicit emotion measurements evoked by food unrelated to liking?” by Jozina Mojet, Klaus Dürrschmid, Lukas Danner, Max Jöchl, Raija-Liisa Heiniö, Nancy Holthuysen and Egon Köster (doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2015.06.031). The article appears in Food Research International, Volume 76 (October 2015), published by Elsevier.

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