Project cost ($):
1 day to prepare, 1 hour for science fair project
Basic safety requirements
Table of Contents
This science fair project was done to ascertain if people can really differentiate the taste of a beverage independent of its color. The science project experiment involved soda water and lime juice mixed with colored food dye.
Most people’s perception of taste will be based on the color of the beverage.
Color and taste
The color of a beverage or food will normally affect a person’s perception of how it will taste. When we look at the color of a drink, our mind will immediately recall our past experiences of how a drink of similar color had tasted. We will then expect the same or similar taste in the beverage that is placed in front of us.
Researchers have found that the color has more influence on how we think a drink or food will taste compared to the brand name or price. When science fair projects were done by giving participants 2 cups of the same juice, but one cup with an altered color, they were able to identify taste differences that really did not exist. When the same test was repeated using one cup with additional sugar added, they were not able to notice much difference in the taste.
Most of the time, our expectation of the taste is based on what we have consumed in the past, or perhaps what we have seen someone else consume, or due to the advertisements that we see on television and billboards. These experiences will gradually program our minds to discriminate and hold certain expectations.
Perception, taste, mind
The materials required for the science fair project:
1. For this science fair project, the independent variable is the coloring of the beverage. The dependent variable is the choice made by the participants in selecting the flavor of the beverage. This is determined by gathering the data from the forms distributed to the participants. The constants (control variables) are the size of the plastic cups, the mixing ratio of soda water and lime juice, the amount of sugar added and the amount of beverage served.
5. After the participants have completed the forms, the results are collected for analysis and the choices tallied and recorded in the table below.
The results show that most of the participants had selected the flavors of the drinks based on the color.
The chart below represents the results of our science project.
The hypothesis that most people’s perception of taste will be based on the color of the beverage, is proven to be true.
This science fair project may be repeated, this time, using a bigger group of people to do the sampling.
More Than Meets the Tongue: Color of a Drink Can Fool the Taste Buds into Thinking It Is Sweeter: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070212182136.htm