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Scientists prove music makes beer taste better

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People enjoy a beer when listening to music. Fire is hot. Water is wet. Frontiers in Psychology

Music can influence how much you like the taste of beer, say scientists. Their findings suggest that a range of multi-sensory information, such as sound, sensation, shape and colour, can influence the way we perceive taste. 

A team of researchers led by Dr. Felipe Reinoso Cavalho, from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and KU Leuven, designed an experiment to see if the influence of music and packaging design would result in a more positive tasting experience. They invited 231 drinkers to experience the beer in three different conditions.

The first served as a control group and drank the beer along with a bottle without a label. In this case, they didn’t listen to any specific song.
The second group, testing the influence of packaging, ta
sted the beer after seeing the bottle with the label.
The third group drank the beer presented with the label while listening to a specific song. 
Before the test the participants rated how tasty they thought the beer might be. Then after tasting they rated how much they had actually enjoyed the drink.

The results showed that those presented with the label and track reported both greater enjoyment than those presented with the beer and label alone. Dr Carvalho said: “It seems that the added pleasure that the song brought into the experience was transferred into the beer’s flavor.”

Speaking about the next steps for this research he added: “We want to keep assessing how sounds can modulate perceived flavor attributes of food and beverages, such as bitterness, sweetness, sourness and creaminess. We also want to understand how sounds can influence our decision making process, in order to see if different sounds could, for example, lead people towards healthier food choices.”

Research into the interaction of different sensory information on taste has opened up the way for food and beverage retailers to create a range of novel eating and drinking experiences. 

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