Potential Applications Of Gastrophysics To Combat Diet and Nutrition Related Health Issues.

In a study conducted by professor Spence with the Alicia foundation it was found that diners who ate an identical red mousse off both a black plate and a white plate rated the mousse to be up to 12% sweeter when it was served on the white plate! With this in mind would it not be possible to reduce the amount of sugar in a dish or food product simply by augmenting the colour of the food or even the packaging, in doing so it may allow the consumer to believe they are enjoying the same level of sweetness without all the sugar!

What about our growing concern with high sodium levels in processed foods. Research which is currently being conducted would suggest that rougher textures such as sandpaper bring out saltiness in a dish. This may mean that simply eating with a slightly grainy textured spoon would allow us to reduce the salt in our diet without really feeling its absence!

As for sustainability; in the past few years the world has become more familiar with the concept that entomophagy (eating insects) offers a more sustainable source of protein in comparison to intensive animal farming. However in many countries around the world we simply do not see insects as food, to many people the idea is repulsive.


Insects served on the Mexico by Kitchen Theory menu were concealed to remove all visual cues. 85% of diners opted in for the insect menu

The chef and the scientist have been working to overcome this negative perception by developing a worm butter which they served to Kitchen Theory’s guests at the start of their meal with the bread. They used butter as a medium for delivering the worm for several reasons; it took the insect out of its natural form, butter is an ingredient they knew their guests would be familiar with and most importantly we all like the fatty creamy flavour of butter. Much to their surprise the worm butter was consumed in higher volume than the salted butter served along side it and most interestingly a high number of vegetarians ate the butter! In fact this experiment worked so well that for the following Kitchen Theory concept entitled Mexico 4 of the 7 dishes contained insects in various forms (most of which remove all visual cues), guest were given a choice to opt out if they did not want to try the insects; however the response was excellent with around 85% of guests opting in for the insect menu.

So these are just a few ways in which gastrophysics could potentially be a part of the solution for getting our diet and nutritional well being back on track!

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