Music can change the way your chocolate tastes, new study finds
Posted by Birminghammail.co.uk on November 23, 2016
The taste of your favourite chocolate bar could alter - depending on the music you are listening to.
According to new research, different musical notes can change the way your favourite treat from Bournville-based chocolate company Cadbury can taste.
Food scientists at the University of Oxford discovered the jaw-dropping findings.
They say it is possible to alter the sensation of creaminess in a piece of chocolate by playing different sounds to people as they eat.
A series of soft flute notes could make a piece of dark chocolate taste more creamy.
Short, sharp notes plucked on a violin, meanwhile, can make the same chocolate taste sharper or bitter.
The researchers are now working with a consortium of chocolatiers in Belgium to produce a box of confectionery that can be eaten along with an accompanying soundtrack.
They claim chocoholics will be able to increase their enjoyment of the snacks by listening to music and sounds that have been matched to them.
Professor Charles Spence, an experimental food psychologist at the University of Oxford who led the study, said: "It seems we find it difficult to keep our experiences separated.
"What we feel about one thing carries over to influence what we think about others we experience at the same time."
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The researchers, whose work is published in the journal Appetite, gave 116 volunteers small squares of dark chocolate with either 71 per cent or 81 per cent cocoa.
They were asked to taste the chocolates and report how they tasted.
Each time they had a chocolate, they either ate in silence or while listening to a series of musical notes.
When listening to long legato notes from a flute they reported the chocolate tasted creamier and when listening to dissonant staccato notes from a violin they described it as rougher or bitter.
Felipe Reinoso Carvalho, a food scientist and psychologist at Vrije University Brussels, who was the first author of the study, said it appeared the musical notes altered the perception of texture.
He said: "It is totally about textures.
"It is not in the scope of taste anymore, it is in the scope of flavours, which are much more complex.
"Creaminess is much more related to consonant harmonics, legato and reverberation.
"Roughness is an opposite auditory universe."