At present, grocery shelves are occupied with food coming in a wide range of colors which may or may not attract consumers. It is important for both the consumers and food manufacturers to look into the effect of food and beverage color on taste as perceived by the consumer. Narrowing our focus on beverages with different colors we recall various beverages which we have encountered in the past and are still available at present—Pepsi Blue, Coca Cola, Sprite, orange, mango, and other kinds of ordinary juices. Food sciences have a rich literature on the significant relationship between color and taste.
In relation, food factors such as presentation, temperature, ingredients, and color intensity is said to greatly affect taste sensitivity (Vaclavik & Christian 6). A recent experiment was conducted in order to find out if color can dominate taste. In the said experiment, the researchers used juices whose tastes and colors were changed in order to come up with a range of stimuli. For instance, two stimuli with the same level of sweetness but have different colors were perceived more by participants to be more different in taste than two stimuli having different level of sweetness but have different colors (Heller).
This just shows how color is used over taste when it comes to perception of beverages. This could also provide an insight regarding beverage manufacturing strategies that could increase sales. With the knowledge that more consumers would most likely choose certain colors over other colors with the same taste, then selling out their brand would be quite easier. Although there are other factors that affect the taste of food, it is good for manufacturers to know that color can dominate taste and other possible factors when it comes to consumer perception.
Research also provides information regarding the effect of color on taste, particularly on taste threshold. In particular, statistics show that the green and yellow color increased and decreased threshold on sweetness, respectively (Excerpta Medica 43). We may associate this with the color of the usual beverages we drink. While green and yellow can both be connected with fruits, yellow is has a more sweet and sour taste. Green is mostly associated with the bitter and sour taste. On the other hand, it was found out that the red color does not have a significant effect on sweetness threshold.
This is parallel to the results of the study by Long (15) that apples with redder intensity of color do not necessarily imply that it is more delicious. Therefore, the effects of color on taste can also be connected to foods of nature and the associated tastes. This information enhances the evidence that color indeed affects the perception of taste. It should be noted that not all colors are associated by people to taste. There are other colors which create an aversion to taste especially those colors that make an unnatural appearance to food, and there are some which does not have any effects (Koch & Koch 233).
The researchers conducted an experiment which involved handing questionnaires to participants and asking them about different colors and the associated tastes. The questionnaire included natural food colors like red, yellow, green, brown and orange and also included other colors such as black, gray and blue. They have also included sour, sweet, bitter, salty tastes and added syrupy, bubbly, citrusy and fruity tastes. The colors were rated with reference to the perceived tastes.