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Open Access Research

Subtle changes in the flavour and texture of a drink enhance expectations of satiety

Keri McCrickerd1*, Lucy Chambers1, Jeffrey M Brunstrom2 and Martin R Yeomans1

Author Affiliations

1 School of Psychology, Pevensey Building, University of Sussex, Brighton, BN1 9QH, UK

2 Nutrition and Behaviour Unit, School of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol, Priory Road, Bristol, BS8 1TU, UK

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Flavour 2012, 1:20  doi:10.1186/2044-7248-1-20

Published: 31 October 2012

Abstract

Background

The consumption of liquid calories has been implicated in the development of obesity and weight gain. Energy-containing drinks are often reported to have a weak satiety value: one explanation for this is that because of their fluid texture they are not expected to have much nutritional value. It is important to consider what features of these drinks can be manipulated to enhance their expected satiety value. Two studies investigated the perception of subtle changes in a drink’s viscosity, and the extent to which thick texture and creamy flavour contribute to the generation of satiety expectations. Participants in the first study rated the sensory characteristics of 16 fruit yogurt drinks of increasing viscosity. In study two, a new set of participants evaluated eight versions of the fruit yogurt drink, which varied in thick texture, creamy flavour and energy content, for sensory and hedonic characteristics and satiety expectations.

Results

In study one, participants were able to perceive small changes in drink viscosity that were strongly related to the actual viscosity of the drinks. In study two, the thick versions of the drink were expected to be more filling and have a greater expected satiety value, independent of the drink’s actual energy content. A creamy flavour enhanced the extent to which the drink was expected to be filling, but did not affect its expected satiety.

Conclusions

These results indicate that subtle manipulations of texture and creamy flavour can increase expectations that a fruit yogurt drink will be filling and suppress hunger, irrespective of the drink’s energy content. A thicker texture enhanced expectations of satiety to a greater extent than a creamier flavour, and may be one way to improve the anticipated satiating value of energy-containing beverages.

Keywords:
Beverage; Creamy flavour; Satiety expectations; Sensory characteristics; Viscosity