For older adults who have difficulty chewing and swallowing, an easy nutrition source such as pudding, a rich nutritious sweet that is enjoyed by people of all generations, must be available. However, the color of food and dishes affects appetite and perceived taste, and its effect on deliciousness and taste still has many unclear points.
Therefore, this study's purpose was to examine the effect of pudding color changes on perceived taste and deliciousness.
Study Design, Setting, Participants
All puddings had the same ingredients and cooking processes, except for egg liquid, which was mixed with either of the following artificial colorings: yellow (uncolored), red, green, and blue. The uniformity of the pudding was confirmed using a texture analyzer. In this study, 21 healthy students aged 20–21 years with normal vision, taste, and appetite were recruited.
Color effects were then evaluated according to the following parameters: appearance, aroma, hardness, sweetness, acidity, acridness, wateriness, texture, and deliciousness. Subsequent statistical analyses were conducted using Kruskal–Wallis and Mann–Whitney U tests, with the significance level set at <5%.
Actual hardness and adhesion were not different between the four colored puddings, but appearance and perceived hardness, acridness, wateriness, and deliciousness were significantly different (P < 0.05). In terms of color, yellow was superior in appearance and perceived deliciousness, followed by red, green, and blue. However, hardness, acridness, and wateriness showed a different order of superiority. Blue pudding felt harder than yellow and red puddings (P < 0.05).
Color may change not only the perceived taste and deliciousness but also the perceived hardness, acridness, and wateriness of the puddings. Moreover, puddings with warm colors such as yellow and red may be more preferrable than those with cool colors such as green and blue. Future studies is necessary to investigate whether the result would be the same for other sweets and other generations including older adults. Color may change the perceived taste, deliciousness and texture of a pudding.