Don’t like the food? Try paying more

Restaurateurs take note — by cutting your prices, you may be cutting how much people will like your food.Researchers in nutrition, economics and consumer behavior often assume that taste is a given — a person naturally either likes or dislikes a food. But a new study suggests taste perception, as well as feelings of overeating and guilt, can be manipulated by price alone.”We were fascinated to find that pricing has little impact on how much one eats, but a huge impact on how you interpret the experience,” said Brian Wansink, Ph.D., a professor at the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University who oversaw the research. “Simply cutting the price of food at a restaurant dramatically affects how customers evaluate and appreciate the food.”The researchers teamed up with a high-quality Italian buffet in upstate New York to study how pricing affects customers’ perceptions. They presented 139 diners with a menu that offered an all-you-can-eat buffet priced at either $4 or $8. Customers were then asked to evaluate the food and the restaurant and rate their first, middle and last taste of the food on a nine-point scale.Those who paid $8 for the buffet reported enjoying their food on average 11 percent more than those who paid $4, though the two groups ate the same amount of food overall. People who paid the lower price also more often reported feeling like they had overeaten, felt more guilt about the meal, and reported liking the food less and less throughout the course of the meal.”We were surprised by the striking pattern we saw,” said Ozge Sigirci, a researcher at Cornell University Food and Brand Lab who conducted the study. “If the food is there, you are going to eat it, but the pricing very much affects how you are going to feel about your meal and how you will evaluate the restaurant.”Public health researchers and health advocates have focused on how all-you-can-eat buffets influence people’s eating habits. On the theory that such restaurants foster overeating and contribute to obesity, some advocates have proposed imposing special taxes on buffet consumers or restaurant owners.The study did not directly address the public health implications of all-you-can-eat buffets, but the researchers said the results could offer lessons about how to optimize a restaurant experience. “If you’re a consumer and want to eat at a buffet, the best thing to do is eat at the most expensive buffet you can afford. You won’t eat more, but you’ll have a better experience overall,” said Wansink.The study fits within a constellation of other work by Wansink and others offering insights about how health behaviors can be manipulated by small changes, such as putting the most healthful foods first in a display or using a smaller dinner plate.”This is an example of how a really small change can transform how a person interacts with food in a way that doesn’t entail dieting,” said Wansink, who is author of Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life, an upcoming book about how design choices influence eating behavior.Ozge Sigirci presented the findings during the Experimental Biology 2014 meeting on Tuesday, April 29.

Read more

Rice gets trendy, adds nutrients, so much more

In the April issue of Food Technology magazine, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), Senior Associate Editor Karen Nachay writes about rice becoming a trendy culinary selection of many restaurant menus but also the go-to solution for consumers looking for gluten-and allergen-free choices rich in nutrients.The National Restaurant Association’s 2014 What’s Hot Culinary Forecast predicts diners will see more rice selections on restaurant menus including black rice and red rice. Food scientists are looking for new ways to incorporate rice into many consumer products.Rice ingredients can enrich food and beverage products with nutrients, improve textural attributes, replace common food allergens, function in gluten-free formulations, and act as a thickening agent, while providing a cost-effective protein source.The article highlighted food scientists using sprouted brown rice to increase protein in bars, powdered shakes, soups, pastas, ready-to-drink beverages, cereals and sweet and savory snacks. Rice starches are being used to provide a variety of texture options in both food and beverages, from smooth and creamy to crispy and crunchy. Rice is also being used to enrich diets with more fiber.The article online can be found at: http://www.ift.org/food-technology/past-issues/2014/april/columns/ingredients.aspxStory Source:The above story is based on materials provided by Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Read more

Tracking Twitter may enhance monitoring of food safety at restaurants

Aug. 7, 2013 — A new system could tell you how likely it is for you to become ill if you visit a particular restaurant by ‘listening’ to the tweets from other restaurant patrons.The University of Rochester researchers say their system, nEmesis, can help people make more informed decisions, and it also has the potential to complement traditional public health methods for monitoring food safety, such as restaurant inspections. For example, it could enable what they call “adaptive inspections,” inspections guided in part by the real-time information that nEmesis provides.The system combines machine-learning and crowdsourcing techniques to analyze millions of tweets to find people reporting food poisoning symptoms following a restaurant visit. This volume of tweets would be impossible to analyze manually, the researchers note. Over a four-month period, the system collected 3.8 million tweets from more than 94,000 unique users in New York City, traced 23,000 restaurant visitors, and found 480 reports of likely food poisoning. They also found they correlate fairly well with public inspection data by the local health department, as the researchers describe in a paper to be presented at the Conference on Human Computation & Crowdsourcing in Palm Springs, Calif., in November.The system ranks restaurants according to how likely it is for someone to become ill after visiting that restaurant.”The Twitter reports are not an exact indicator — any individual case could well be due to factors unrelated to the restaurant meal — but in aggregate the numbers are revealing,” said Henry Kautz, chair of the computer science department at the University of Rochester and co-author of the paper. In other words, a “seemingly random collection of online rants becomes an actionable alert,” according to Kautz, which can help detect cases of foodborne illness in a timely manner.nEmesis “listens” to relevant public tweets and detects restaurant visits by matching up where a person tweets from and the known locations of restaurants. People will often tweet from their phones or other mobile devices, which are GPS enabled. This means that tweets can be “geotagged”: the tweet not only provides information in the 140 characters allowed, but also about where the user was at the time.If a user tweets from a location that is determined to be a restaurant (by using the locations of 24,904 restaurants that had been visited by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in New York City), the system will continue to track this person’s tweets for 72 hours, even when they’re not geotagged, or when they are tweeted from a different device. If a user then tweets about feeling ill, the system captures the information that this person is now ill and had visited a specific restaurant.The correlation between the Twitter data and the public inspection data means that about one third of the inspection scores could be reliably predicted from the Twitter data. …

Read more

Medical assessment in the blink of an eye

June 17, 2013 — Have you ever thought that you knew something about the world in the blink of an eye? This restaurant is not the right place for dinner. That person could be The One. It turns out that radiologists can do this with mammograms, the x-ray images used for breast cancer screening. Cytologists, who screen micrographic images of cervical cells to detect cervical cancer, have a similar ability. A new study, published in Springer’s journal Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, takes a closer look at the skill these specialists have.Share This:There are many routes to making snap judgments (not all of them particularly useful). One of these is our ability to get the “gist” of an entire image by analyzing the whole scene at once, based on interpretation of global properties and image statistics, not focusing on specific details.That seems to be what medical experts can do. They are not perfect in a fraction of a second but they do far better than random guessing when classifying medical images as normal or abnormal even though, in that blink of an eye, they cannot tell you where the problem might be located. Karla Evans and colleagues, from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the US, assessed medical experts’ ability to categorize a breast cancer or cervical screening image as either normal or abnormal in a single glance. A total of 55 radiologists and 38 cytologists were shown either mammograms or images of cervical cells. …

Read more

Utilizzando il sito, accetti l'utilizzo dei cookie da parte nostra. maggiori informazioni

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close