Scientists may be closing in on a way to let consumers savor the sweet taste of cake, cookies and other culinary delights without the sugar rush. Researchers have found that several natural aromatic molecules, associated with odor compounds in foods, could be used to trick our brains into believing that desserts and other foods contain more fat, sugar or salt than they actually do.
Most consumers know that they should be eating more healthful foods made with reduced amounts of fat, sugar and salt. But this is problematic because these are the very ingredients that make many of the foods we like taste so delicious. Scientists believe aromas can help compensate for the reduction of fat, sugar and salt in healthful foods and make them more appealing to consumers.
Aroma plays a vital role in how we perceive food: you can try this out, by pinching your nose closed while you eat; chances are you will not be able to taste anything. Based on this fact, food companies have long used chemical aromatics, essential oils and botanical extracts to enhance the flavor of food and beverages to boost sales.
Recently, scientists have turned their attention to using aromas to improve the taste of foods made with reduced amounts of fat, sugar and salt, which many consumers normally avoid because of the bland flavor. By optimizing the food reformulation process, scientists hope to allow the food industry to produce food that is healthy and well-liked by consumers.