Color And Food Importance Of Food Color

The role that color plays in the reaction to food is so automatic that it may be taken for granted. This does not make that role any less important it merely decreases awareness. The color of a food has important considerations for both the consumer and the technologist. These considerations are quite different yet they are interrelated as shown in Figure 1.

The psychological effects of color have long been recognized. A room decorated in red exudes warmth and may increase pulse and respiration rates and even increase vivacity. Whereas a room decorated in blue or green is cool and peaceful encouraging concentration and relaxation. But darkening that blue can turn it into a subdued and even depressing atmosphere. The color of food also has its psychological aspects but these are less of mood swings than they are of learned associations. The color of a food not only sends a message of expectation but can also provide clues as to the condition of that food; a yellow peach is ripe, brown strawberry jam is old. Food of an unnatural color raises a barrier that most people have difficulty overcoming. Witness the red-fleshed potato that cooks up blue. Most people given the chance will avoid tasting it even when assured it tastes similar to the familiar white varieties. In contrast a recently introduced yellow-fleshed variety, reminiscent of buttery mashed potatoes, is gaining in popularity. In a very real sense the appearance of a food acts as a gate keeper and the old saying "We eat with our eyes" is not far off the mark. Experience and memory play important roles in food assessment. This is easily demonstrated by mismatching gelatin samples for color and flavor. Even a familiar flavor such as orange is difficult to

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