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Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating

The psychologist, Professor Charles Spence, Head of the Crossmodal Research Laboratory at Oxford University, looks at our multisensory experience of food. What is on our minds as we eat? He has studied how our brains process and integrate the information from our senses and how we perceive the world around us.

He is a pioneer in the emerging field of Gastrophysics, a combination of gastronomy and psychophysics, the new science of eating, which looks at how we react to the food we see, hear, smell, touch and eat. He explores the part played by our emotions, memories and social behaviour in our multisensory flavour perception of the food we consume.

The book contends that dining is far more a multisensory exercise than we might appreciate; food is not just taste and nutrition. Spence uses experimental psychology to give an insight into how the eating environment affects our food choices and preferences.

This is a great book if you have ever wondered why we don’t like eating blue food or why 27% of the drinks bought on a plane are tomato juice? Why do we consume 35% more food when eating with one other person and 75% more when eating with three? Or what is the effect of serving food on plates that are small or red?

The book is accessible, informative science at its best. '

Spence looks at how simple changes in the way we consume food could have a positive effect on what and how much we eat. It might have application for ways to cut calories and encourage healthier eating without compromising our enjoyment. It explores how food businesses could use this technology to transform our future eating experience and uncovers some of the tricks of the trade.

The book is accessible, informative science at its best. For the professional, it has an extensive set of notes and references providing access to current research in this field.

Sterling Crew FIFST, FCIEH, FRSPH, Vice President of the Institute of Food Science and Technology and Chair of the IFST Food Safety Group.

Email: sterlingmcrew@aol.com

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