June 22, 2009

“˜Taste Dialects’ Defined For The First Time

Where we are born not only determines how we speak but also how we taste our food and drink.

The taste preferences of the UK's major regions have been analysed by Professor Andy Taylor, an expert in flavour technology at The University of Nottingham and Greg Tucker a leading food psychologist.

Professor Taylor of the Flavour Research Group said: "Taste is determined by our genetic make-up and influenced by our upbringing and experience with flavours. Just as with spoken dialects, where accent is placed on different syllables and vowel formations, people from different regions have developed enhanced sensitivities to certain taste sensation and seek foods that trigger these."

The Flavour Research Group in the School of Biosciences studies the link between the flavour in a food and the way it is sensed when we eat the food.  This involves chemical, physical, psychological, sensory and brain imaging studies.

Professor Taylor and Greg Tucker were interested in the development our taste preferences. Greg Tucker, from the Marketing Clinic, conducted a detailed programme of face to face interviews as well as consulting the company's database built up from over ten thousand interviews on numerous food and drink studies.  Together they analysed the data.

The research, commissioned by Costa Coffee, proved that each region in the UK has its own unique "ËœTaste Dialect' of flavours and textures which have been forged by culture, geography and the environment.


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