WAGENINGEN, The Netherlands—New research published in the journal Flavour found individuals are more likely to take smaller bites of foods that have stronger aromas. The findings suggest manipulating the odor of food could result in a 5% to 10% decrease in intake per bite, and combining aroma control with portion control promote satiety and weight management.
In order to separate the effect of aroma on bite size from other food-related sensations researchers from Top Institute Food and Nutrition developed a system where a custard-like dessert was eaten while different scents were simultaneously presented directly to the participant’s nose. The results showed that the stronger the smell the smaller the bite.
“Our human test subjects were able to control how much dessert was fed to them by pushing a button. Bite size was associated with the aroma presented for that bite and also for subsequent bites (especially for the second to last bite)," the researchers said. “Perhaps, in keeping with the idea that smaller bites are associated with lower flavor sensations from the food and that, there is an unconscious feedback loop using bite size to regulate the amount of flavor experienced."