Washington: Want to make your strawberry mousse sweeter and richer in taste? Well, try serving it on a white plate instead of adding more fruits and sugar, scientists say.

A new study by Spanish and British researchers shown that plate colour affects how people perceive the flavour of the food they taste.
   
Scientists and marketers alike have long known colour can affect how we perceive food. To test how plate colour might affect perception, the researchers gave small domes of strawberry mousse on white or black plates to 53 volunteers, who rated their treats' perceived sweetness, flavour intensity and quality, as well as how much they liked it.
   
It turned out that tasters not only liked the mousse on the white plate more, they also found it to be more flavorful and sweeter, as reported.
   
Although participants also rated the mousse on the white plate as higher quality than the mousse on the black plate, the difference for this category did not rise above that which could happen by chance.

The researchers, led by Betina Piqueras-Fiszman of the Polytechnic University in Valencia, Spain, also tested plate shape -- using circular, square and triangular plates -- however, this factor did not appear to have a substantial effect on how people perceived the mousse.

It is possible the colour of the mousse appeared more intense against the lighter, white background than against the darker, black background, and that this visual illusion worked in favour of the white plate, the researchers wrote in the journal Food Quality and Preferences.

"In the future, it would be particularly interesting to further investigate the effects of other colours (or, more correctly, plates having different hues) and characteristics of the plates in order to discover possible ways in which to enhance the perception and experience of food, apart from modifying the ingredients of the food," they added.

(Agencies)