Hot Chocolate Tastes Better in an Orange Cup: Study

Want a tastier cup of hot chocolate? Drink it from an orange mug.

By An Phung
|  Monday, Jan 7, 2013  |  Updated 12:38 PM PDT
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Hot Chocolate Tastes Better in an Orange Cup: Study

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Scientists say hot chocolate sipped from an orange cup tastes better.

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Scientists have discovered that orange-colored cups makes hot chocolate taste better, proving once again that color influences taste buds.

Researchers at Polytechnic University of Valencia in Spain and Oxford University studied 57 participants, each of whom tasted four samples of hot chocolate from cups of the same size but different colors -- white, cream, red and orange. The results showed that subjects thought the beverage tasted better in the orange and cream-colored cups, LiveScience reported.

“These results are relevant to sensory scientists interested in how the brain integrates visual input (such as color), not only from the food itself, but also from the container, packaging or plateware from which it is being consumed,” the report said.

The study, published in the Journal of Sensory Studies, adds to the body of research that says people’s perception of taste is influenced by many factors that are unrelated to the actual food. For example, fast food restaurants like McDonald's and Subway are decorated in yellow because the color stimulates the appetite. Also, food tastes better when served on a white plate, while food served on a blue plate suppresses the appetite.

Researchers are hoping the results are helpful to marketers in the food industry.

"These results should hopefully help stimulate chefs, restaurateurs and those working in the food and beverage packaging sectors to think more carefully about the color of their plateware/packaging and its potential effects on their customers' perception of the taste/flavor of the products that they happen to be serving/delivering to market."

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