Temperature of Food Samples Impact Sensory & Emotions

Originally Published: September 19, 2020
Last Updated: February 11, 2021
Temperature of Food Impacts Sensory and Emotions

The temperature of food samples impact sensory aspects but also our emotional response foods. So suggests recent research published in Food Quality and Preference.*

In a series of experiments, participants tasted tomato soups served at four different temperatures (25, 40, 55, and 70°C) rating both the flavors and their emotional responses. Soup samples served at higher temperatures were more associated with positive emotions. Viscosity mouthfeel and sweet taste were associated with lower temperatures, but celery aroma, green herb aroma, and cooked tomato flavor attributes were associated with higher temperatures. In addition, different sensory attributes and emotional responses played a key role in modulating consumer acceptability of tomato soup. For example, salty taste was only a positive driver of liking soup at 55°C, whereas “garlic aroma” only served as a positive driver at 40°C.

The study’s lead author, Han-Seok Seo, Associate Professor of the Department of Food Science, University of Arkansas, says: “Since the temperatures of hot soups quickly change over time, people may experience different sensory attributes and emotional responses during their consumption. Thus, it is important for food industry professionals to track variations in sensory and emotional responses not only at the temperatures initially served, but also over the temperature range of consumption. How do we make soup products that can increase or maintain a good first impression from the first spoon to the last? This is a key takeaway of this study.”

*Source: “Sample Temperatures Can Modulate Both Emotional Responses to and Sensory Attributes of Tomato Soup Samples.” Food Quality and Preference, vol. 86, no. December, 2020, doi:10.1016/j.foodqual.2020.104005.

Comment by Global Food Forums Editors: Many to most sensory professionals are likely aware that the temperature of food samples impact sensory test results. However, during routine product formulations efforts to sampling of products during conventions and expos, the importance of temperature is often ignored.