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Our perception of food is affected by the sensory properties of the food itself, together with our expectations about the food and other contextual factors. The latter are especially relevant in the restaurant setting, where appearance factors, such as the presentation of the food on the plates can dramatically affect food liking and consumption. However, to date, not much emphasis has been placed on the effect of the appearance of the accessories on our perception of food. The aims of the present study were therefore to test the extent to which the appearance properties of the plate influence the taste/flavor experiences of the food served on it. Specifically, we investigated the influence of the color (black or white) and shape of the plate on the perception of flavor intensity, sweetness, quality, and liking for identical strawberry mousse desserts. The results demonstrated that while the color of the plate exerted a significant influence on people's perception of the food, the shape of the plate did not. In particular, when the mousse was served from a white plate, it was perceived as significantly more intense and sweeter, and was also liked more. These results therefore demonstrate the importance of the color (if not the shape) of the plate on people's perception of food. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Original publication




Journal article


Food Quality and Preference

Publication Date





205 - 208