If you're aiming to control your portion sizes, anchovies and onions might be the way to go -- Dutch researchers found that stronger food aromas cause people to take smaller bites of food.
Flavor scientists fed 10 research subjects vanilla custard while pumping varying intensities of cream odors into their nostrils. The result? Aroma intensity affected the size of the corresponding bite as well as that of subsequent bites, the researchers wrote in a study published Tuesday in the journal Flavour.
The most intense aromas produced the smallest subsequent bites, the researchers said.
The Dutch team speculated that people may take smaller bites of more fragrant foods so their senses aren't overpowered.
For the flavoring, the scientists used a natural cream flavor produced from enzyme-modified fresh cream, spray dried into powdered form with maltodextrin.
Just like Mom used to make.
Other research suggests another method for portion control is color-contrasting plates. A greater color contrast between plate and food reduced subject's tendency to serve more on large plates and less on small plates, according to a study conducted by two marketing professors from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Cornell University and published in the Journal of Consumer Research in November.