Influence of immersion in a space-like environment on taste and odour perception

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University of Guelph

Existing literature suggests that environmental factors (i.e., sound and smell) may contribute to a change in sensory perception of food eaten in space, however, this has yet to be fully investigated. To explore the effects of environmental space-like conditions on taste and odour perception, two studies were conducted. The first study investigated the effect of environmental International Space Station (ISS) sounds played through headphones on intensity of the five basic tastes. The second study immersion in a space-like environment on odour perception and emotional responses. Results showed that environmental ISS sounds of 70 dB had no effect on taste perception, and odour perception and emotional responses may be influenced by different odours and light conditions. Further studies must be performed under more representative conditions and with more dynamic food systems to fully characterize the effect of environmental factors on perception of taste and odour in space.

Sensory perception, Taste, Odour, Space, Immersion