Color’s Effect on Odor Perception

Originally Published: June 8, 2019
Last Updated: February 4, 2021

The effect of color on odor/flavor identification, liking and perceived intensity when experienced both orthonasally (through the nostrils) and retronasally (through the mouth) was reviewed. The impact that color has on odor/flavor perception when the color is intrinsic to the object being smelled/tasted (e.g., a colored beverage) compared to when the color is extrinsic, but related to the object (e.g., the package color), was also discussed. Possible mechanisms by which these color-odor/flavor interactions occur was proposed; as was a glimpse into where future research on color’s influence on flavor perception may be headed.

Debra Zellner, PhD, Professor, Psychology, Montclair State University & Monell Chemical Senses Center speaking on “Color’s Effect on Odor Perception” at the 2019 Clean Label Conference.

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