Altering the sensory characteristics of high energy foods could help industry to produce more effective weight control foods, according to new research.
The research – published in Food Quality and Preference – examined how manipulating the sensory and labelling characteristics of a high-energy fruit yoghurt beverage would affect the product's satiating power.
Led by Martin Yeomans from the University of Sussex, UK, the researchers reveal that the sensory qualities of the product had a strong influence on later fullness while labelled satiety messages “had no bearing on the extent to which satiety was reached.”
“While information on food labels may help consumers to make informed food choices the findings from this study suggest it is the experience of food in the mouth in combination with its post-ingestive effects that will ultimately determine a person’s subsequent appetite,” said the researchers.
“This outcome indicates that future satiety research should consider not only the nutrient composition of test products but also the sensory cues that are present during consumption,” added Yeomans and his team.
“Whether food manufactures should focus their attentions on sensory rather than labelled satiety cues in order to produce effective weight control foods remains to be established.”
Yeomans and his team gave participants the high-energy fruit drink either thickened with added ‘creamy’ flavours or thinner less creamy versions – in addition to presenting the products with or without labelled messages regarding the satiating power of the beverage.
“It was predicted that the high energy beverage would be most satiating when presented in a way that generated the strongest satiety expectations: when it tasted thick and creamy and was labelled with a high satiety message,” said the researchers.
They revealed that the extent to which the beverage was satiating almost entirely depended on its sensory characteristics: “After consuming the beverage in a thick and creamy context participants reporting enhanced fullness and consumed significantly less of the dessert presented at the test lunch.”
“Providing labelled information about the satiating power of the beverages had no impact on sensations of appetite or intake at the test lunch,” they added.
Source: Food Quality and Preference
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2012.08.008
“Can the satiating power of a high energy beverage be improved by manipulating sensory characteristics and label information?”
Authors: Lucy Chambers, Harvey Ells, Martin R. Yeomans