ISLAMABAD: Being pleasantly or unpleasantly surprised by the taste of something can change a person's mood, according to research.

There is a growing conviction that emotional reactions to the consumption of foods or the perception of fragrances play an important role in the acceptance of products in the market.  However, it is not clear how to measure this reliably.

Positive response to low-fat yogurts

The team also looked at the sensory effect of the yogurts. There was no difference in the emotional responses to strawberry versus pineapple yogurts, but low-fat versions led to more positive emotional responses.

Most strikingly, vanilla yogurt elicited a strong positive emotional response, supporting previous evidence that a subtle vanilla scent in places like hospital waiting rooms can reduce aggression and encourage relationships among patients and between patients and staff.

The team found that eating vanilla yogurts made people feel happy and that yogurts with lower fat content gave people a stronger positive emotional response.

They also found that even if people reported differences in liking them, yogurts with different fruits did not show much difference in their emotional effect.