How the brain interprets the quality of the food or drink appears to be dependent on not on the food itself but, from the container from which it is consumed. Researchers have found the color of the container that food or drinks are served in can affect how one perceives taste.
In a 2012 article published in the Journal of Sensory Studies, participants rated the perceived taste and aroma of the same hot chocolate served in different colored cups. Researchers found that participants rated the hot chocolate as having a more enhanced flavor when served in orange and dark-cream colored cups compared to the same hot chocolate served in a red or white cup. Sensory perception was affected by container color.
The outcome of studies like this can assist chefs and manufacturers in the food and beverage packaging industry. For example, experimenting with the color of plates and cups in restaurants may influence choices.
It has been known for a long time that satiety can be specific with particular foods and that this can influence food selection and the amount of food that is consumed. Studies like the one described above with hot chocolate helps scientists understand how the brain integrates visual information prior to and during food consumption. Further studies may provide some insight as to whether perceived taste can also affect perceived satiety.