Perceived Sweetness

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Abstract The purpose of this study was to investigate whether different colour tones of red and green affected sweetness perception. An experimental design was engaged where 95 first-year Psychology students voluntarily sampled four 20mL coloured liquids and rated their sweetness on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being no sweetness distinguished and 10 where the liquid was extremely sweet. The major results indicated that light red samples were perceived sweeter than dark red, and that light green samples were perceived sweeter than dark green. It was concluded that colour does affect sweetness perception of food or drink enough to be worth considering.
The Influence of Colour on Perceived Sweetness The impact colour has on taste perception of food
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These findings were consistent with previous literature (Lavin & Lawless, 1998) that colour has a restricted impact on taste perception, but nevertheless it is a minor influencing factor worth considering. In this study, we are experimenting whether the tone of a colour, such as light or dark, has influence on the perceived sweetness in two respective colour pairings: dark red and light red, or dark green and light green. The purpose of this investigation is to examine features of colour perception on sweetness that have not been directly studied before, such as using 5% sucrose solutions as opposed to fruit beverages sweetened with aspartame (Lavin & Lawless, 1998). This way the sweetness of the liquid tasted is from the sugar content, eliminating the chance of fruit flavouring disrupting sweetness perception. Another reason for conducting this study is to investigate inconsistencies in previous literature, such as whether red-coloured liquids are perceived to be sweeter. Based on previous findings, it is hypothesized that dark red samples should be perceived as significantly sweeter than light red samples, and that light green samples should be perceived as significantly sweeter than dark green samples. Method Design An experimental design was employed with an independent variable (colour), and a dependent variable (perceived sweetness). Participants Participants were 95 PSYC122 students from Victoria University of Wellington who voluntarily participated in the demonstration in their first 122 lecture. Apparatus/Materials Participants were presented with an A4 piece of paper with 4 small cups on top, each containing 20mL of coloured liquid, and instructions. The instructions stated: ‘When directed to do so, please drink the samples above. After tasting each coloured liquid, please rate how sweet you think it is on a scale

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