Smell has the power to enhance your mood! Especially when you are hungry, you must have noticed that at times, when you simply sit back and watch your friends indulge in cheesy pasta, burgers and pizzas without joining them in eating and enjoying the aroma it. You must have noticed that sometimes when you are attending any wedding party or reception you don't feel like eating anything after being surrounded by so much food. You feel already full jut by the essence of the food.
There are times when you just cook the tasty biryani for your friends and family without eating it yourself. Then, there are times when you just pass by a restaurant, smell the inviting food, and walk past it anyway. Have you had ever wondered why this happens? As per the recent research, it has been found that ambient food scent can directly satisfy the belly because the brain does not necessarily differentiate between the sources of sensory pleasure.
Does a whiff of pizzas, burgers or sandwiches entice you, but you refrain from eating them due to the high-calories it contains? Take heart -- smelling these for longer than two minutes will make you feel satiated, suggest researchers, including one of an Indian-origin.
"Ambient scent can be a powerful tool to resist cravings for indulgent foods. In fact, subtle sensory stimuli like scents can be more effective in influencing children's and adults' food choices than restrictive policies," said lead author Dipayan Biswas, Professor at the University of South Florida in the US.
The researchers discovered a direct connection between the length of exposure time and whether or not a person will indulge in the food.
They also conducted a series of tests using a nebuliser that separately gave off the scent of healthy and unhealthy food items (cookies versus strawberries, pizza versus apples).
The findings, published in the Journal of Marketing Research, showed that participants exposed to the smell of cookies for less than 30 seconds were more likely to want a cookie.
However, those exposed for longer than two minutes did not find that cookie desirable and picked the strawberries instead.
The results were the same in case of the scent of pizza and apples.
Since non-indulgent foods do not give off much of an ambient scent, they are typically not connected with reward; therefore, they have little influence on what we order, the study noted.