The power of taste in food selection is well known, but flavor, texture and taste sensory mechanisms that influence eating behaviors are more mysterious. Tasting skills to identify taste versus flavor qualities and recognize the role of texture in flavor perception (chemesthesis), are rarely taught in nutrition or culinary programs. In this interactive session, we’ll explore the synergy between these sensory experiences and how to help people enjoy more nutrient-rich foods and more mindful eating.
During the session, we will use taste literacy tools and experience different sensory taste mechanisms to consider how tasting habits versus taste physiology can impact health and food enjoyment. Various taste literacy tools such as taste perception assessments, flavor lexicons and mindful tasting practices raise awareness of food choice motivations, establish new connections to diverse, nutritious foods and improve food appreciation. These tools also have implications for recipe development and modifying meals for different sensory needs.