Food Tasting Too Healthy? Just Add Scent

 

How scientists use smell to trick tastebuds—and brains

Food Tasting Too Healthy? Just Add Scent

SMITHSONIAN.COM
AUGUST 23, 2016

Fat, sugar, salt: a taster’s holy trinity. But eat them in excess, and you’ll find yourself facing an unholy triad of high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity. Sadly, as anyone who has tried diet ice cream or potato chips knows, the reduced sugar or salt alternatives of your favorite snacks tend to feature reduced taste as well.

Chef comment: The potential risk|problem I see is if we can trick the brain into thinking we’re eating the ‘real’ stuff – fat, sugar and salt – in amounts that make them pleasing to our palate, then just maybe our brains will be tricked into thinking the ‘healthy’ foods are as bad for us as unhealthy foods, and respond accordingly by raising our blood pressure, blood sugar, triglycerides and making us obese.

It’s sorta like diet sodas, that even though they are calorie-free, the brain doesn’t think they are, because they taste sweet. Tricking mother nature may work sorta like a placebo, but it won’t in my opinion work long term.

Over time we will become accustomed to the taste and texture of less salt, sugar and fat, without tricking the brain into anything. Again, we’re modifying foods or adding modified molecules to food that probably will end up in the future being bad for us.

The other night I had Lays kettle potato chips and when I opened the bag the the fried potato scent was overpowering to the point of repulsion. Maybe companies are already using this technology. If we’re reading about it now, somebody probably is. Those chips although they didn’t contain animal fat tasted like they had too big a dose of it – scent wise, fried-wise. I was put off. I finished the chips, too much salt and all, but I’ll instruct my husband not to buy those any more. Overkill.






 

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