How some Flavours can easily connect with your mood
‘Sweet is Happy, and Bitter is Sad’- this is what a child would respond to when you ask the relation of flavour and mood.
The mood is the way that you feel at a particular time when we are happy we say we are in a good mood. Often our memories are linked to food or its flavour, and they create a feel which defines the frame of mind, thus when we consume that food or that flavour again we rekindle our memories creating the similar effects. Many factors determine what mood is created by which food.
Exposure: Foundation of memories gets created in infants, thus unconsciously we may have created a good memory for the first food that we tasted, which is sweet food. The first memory that our brain created was of milk, that is the primary food fed to newborn babies so what we remember is milk which has lactose (a sweet molecule ) and our brain has stored those happy memories and linked them to sweet taste reception. Besides, children do not like bitter-tasting medicines because it is associated with those unhappy memories of sick and unwell times when our body was under stress and so the brain stores those unpleasant memories and linked them to bitter taste. Thus we have ended up with perceptions that sweet is happy, bitter is sad.
Social influence- Opinion of people surrounding you also makes an impact on your thinking and liking abilities. Thus, when you are in a party or a gathering, and you see your friends trying a schezwan flavoured chips, you would too want to try the same, and although it may not be on your liking list, still it will make you happy. Most often, we see people sharing and enjoying a typical pizza as sharing food gives a sense of common liking and security, a feel that you are one of them, you are like your friends, and your choice is acceptable to all. Social surrounding and cultural impact also define the mood effect of the flavour. Cultures that are very close to their traditions and have high importance for their traditional foods have observed that these flavours create a sense of respect and happiness when we use these flavours on specific occasions.
Beliefs & Benefits: Some of the exotic flavours like Chamomile in tea is widely popular as a means to help you relax, colas can energize, and berries are associated with healthy flavonoids that lift your mood. Roses have always had health benefits associated with them, mostly in cosmetic, to feel young and look great, it is also a sign of beautiful feeling, and so when you have a rose drink you feel happy, young, healthy and romantic. Many of these flavours have become a good mood food due to their health benefits. Thus a health-conscious person would be happier with food, which may be bitter-tasting but with health benefits to trigger a similarly good mood effect. Some kinds of toothpaste with bitter tastes like neem, charcoal do make your morning feel to start with a positive and healthy state of mind.
Chemical Mimics: Mood enhancing effect of some of the foods is well known to all. Most of the fruits are high in fructose and have inherent high sugar contents that make them a good mood food, and so when you are low on the mood your brain craves for mood enhancement, thus we want to take in more of beverages and juices. Some of the foods also have natural ingredients that bear a striking similarity to mood-stabilizing drugs. Therefore they mimic the effect and so unknowingly, we sometimes feel the similar mood-stabilizing effect after consuming certain foods like chocolates, teas, and some other foods that we name as comfort foods. New evidence and research have revealed the mood-enhancing impact associated with some of the natural ingredients bearing a striking chemical similarity to some of the mood-stabilizing drugs. Thus some reports also view flavours of chocolate, teas, and some other known foods to be chemical mimics of these stabilizers and create a similar effect. Molecules in a variety of berries and foods contain omega -3 fatty acids have also shown a positive impact on mood. These findings are a platform for not only pharma but for the food and beverage industry to work more on such flavours.
However, whatever may be the factor behind the effect of flavour on mood, one thing remains most important, which is to create memories. When we are low in spirit, you want to go back to those happy times and wipe the sad, bad memories. So chew toffees, get those sweet candies, chocolates and cakes, that take you back to happy memories, happy places, sunny days. So keep trying flavours, continue creating memories and get to the best of your mood.Array
Keva has an extensive flavour library for various food and beverage applications, besides a team of expert flavourists and food technologists for creating custom flavours and matches. To partner with us, contact Keva today.
The statements, views, thoughts and opinions expressed on blog or social media are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Keva Flavours or its parent organisation. The company does not take any responsibility for the views of the author.