A research study published in the Journal of Sensory Studies explored the perceived taste of food and how that changes with the type of utensil used during consumption. The study asked the question: Do the material properties of cutlery affect the perception of the food you eat?
Yogurt was used as the food and participants in the study were asked to rate the taste of the yogurt when eaten with different types of cutlery. The study found that the same yogurt was perceived to taste better when eaten with a stainless steel spoon compared to a plastic spoon.
This is not the first study of this kind. Taste perception can change not only with the type of utensil used, but with the color of materials used to present or serve the food in. A different study published in the same journal found that the color of a cup of hot chocolate changes taste perception.
Understanding taste perception and the factors that influence how we perceive the taste of certain foods has far-reaching implications. This has applications in not only in attracting consumers to certain foods in restaurants, but also has the potential of making specific foods perceived as tasting better.