Main content

Eating With Our Ears: The Sound of Food

How sound is the forgotten flavour sense, and how food marketers and chefs are using it to manipulate our perception of flavour.

How does sound influence the way we eat, drink and taste? We discover our hearing makes a bigger contribution to flavour than we think.

Mike Johnson explores the concept of 'sonic seasoning' - the idea that different sounds can accentuate the sweetness, bitterness or spiciness of food. Chef Jozef Youssef, founder of the multi-sensory dining experience Kitchen Theory, serves up a musical food experiment, and Charles Spence, professor of experimental psychology at Oxford University, gives his track recommendations.

From the crunch of a crisp to the background music in a restaurant, we examine the science that links our ears and taste buds with a journey into the brain flavour network.

Plus, how the food and drink industry is cashing in on the selling power of sound - we speak to branding expert Martin Lindstrom about his painstaking work with some of the world's biggest fizzy drink manufacturers.

Also, could the concept of sonic seasoning be used in the battle against diabetes and obesity?

(Photo: Apple and headphones. Credit: LdF, Thinkstock.
Soundscapes credit: Condiment Junkie)

Available now

27 minutes


Food Chain Highlights

Food Chain  Highlights

Coffee, spices, chillies ... snack on a selection of programme highlights.