- Title: Sonic seasoning uses sound to set taste buds tingling
- Date: 17th August 2021
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (RECENT - JULY 22, 2021) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) MENGTIAN ZHANG (pron. Mung-te-en Jang), DEMONSTRATING DIFFERENT FOOD SOUNDS ON HER LAPTOP, SAYING: "I've got different sound samples I make. Like this one. I play it when people are pouring honey onto their plate and this one feels quite light and happy. And this one. You can feel the frequency is down a little bit and people describe it as more calm and not so sweet. And this one, just a little bit strange. People actually don't want to link it with any flavour because it sounds a very weird so some people lose their appetite when they hear it. And this one, the first one, because it's very happy and light people usually link it with sweet and want to add more sugar. Or for some people is totally different and they feel it's so sweet and they don't want to add any more sugar." VOLUNTEER TASTER CUTTING INTO JELLY VOLUNTEER TASTER EATING JELLY (SOUNDBITE) (English) RUIFENG TANG, VOLUNTEER TASTER, SAYING: "It's a very special experience. Normally you don't hear that much when you're eating, chewing a jelly but this time having a really fresh feeling of it." VARIOUS OF MENGTIAN ZHANG POURING HONEY ONTO YOGHURT AND CEREAL (SOUNDBITE) (English) MENGTIAN ZHANG, (pron. Mung-te-en Jang), RCA DESIGN STUDENT, SAYING: "The higher pitch the sound is the sour you feel about the sound and also if the frequency is low maybe the flavour will be much more bitter and salty." VOLUNTEER TASTER EATING GRAPES (SOUNDBITE) (English) TIAN GAO, VOLUNTEER TASTER, SAYING: "Oh, it was great. Great grape. I think it's a kinda strange experience. I don't know how to say it. It's kinda strange." MENGTIAN POURING MORE HONEY (SOUNDBITE) (English) MENGTIAN ZHANG (pron. Mung-te-en Jang), RCA DESIGN STUDENT, SAYING: "In my own experiments, when my friends do it we sit together and I offer them yoghurt and honey and I try several sound effects for testing and I play the sound and ask them to add honey and one friend told me 'it really sounds very sweet and I don't want to add so much honey. And this opened another interesting area about the connection between flavour and sounds. So I tried doing the same tests with more people and some people told me 'it sounds like disappointment so I don't want to add so much sugar.' So it actually influences your appetite and flavour and also the emotion behind the sound." VARIOUS OF MENGTIAN ZHANG PREPARING TO EAT A BOWL OF YOGHURT MENGTIAN PUTS CONDUCTING RING ON HER FINGER TO MAKE CIRCUIT MENGTIAN EATS YOGHURT VARIOUS OF THE SONIC SEASONING TABLEWARE COLLECTION
- Embargoed: 31st August 2021 10:15
- Keywords: ASMR cooking videos during lockdown Design Products student Mengtian Zhang RCA 2021 Graduate Exhibition Royal College of Art Sonic-seasoning tableware enhance food flavour with sound as you eat
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Europe,Science
- Reuters ID: LVA008EQO2MVV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Is your food not tasty enough or maybe not surprising enough? Never mind the salt, add a few bongs or wizzes.
That's the idea behind Sonic-seasoning, a tableware collection that enhances the flavour of food with sound feedback as you eat.
It's the brainchild of Mengtian Zhang, a Design Products student at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London, who was inspired by watching ASMR (Autonomous sensory meridian response) cooking videos, during the lockdown.
"Through the mobile phone screen I didn't actually eat the food but when I hear the sound of food I could actually imagine the texture and the flavour of the food," Mengtian told Reuters.
Produced for the RCA 2021 Graduate Exhibition, the collection explores enhancing food with experimental sounds and changing pitch, timbre and modulation.
Mengtian said her friends have helped with her experiments.
"I play the sound and ask them to add honey and one friend told me 'it really sounds very sweet and I don't want to add so much honey. And this opened another interesting area about the connection between flavour and sounds."
Mengtian is now exploring if her design could help people who lost their sense of taste post-Covid or can help people make healthier choices, like using less sugar.
(Production: Stuart McDill)
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