If you're trying to trim your waistline, consider tucking into an aromatic, pungent meal for dinner. Because according to a study published this week in newly launched gastro-scientific journal Flavour, stronger aromas lead to smaller bite sizes -- a finding that could be used as a means to control portion sizes, researchers say.
For their study, Dutch scientists fitted 10 people aged 26 to 50 with a nose piece that was able to increase the aroma intensity of their sample food: a vanilla custard.
As researchers controlled the strength of the aroma, participants controlled the amount of food they pumped in their mouth by pushing a button connected to a feeding tube.
Smells ranged between no smell, weak, and strong.
The result? Increasing the aroma intensity led participants to take smaller bite sizes, researchers said. "This study suggests that manipulating the odor of food could result in a 5-10% decrease in intake per bite," reads the study. "Combining aroma control with portion control could fool the body into thinking it was full with a smaller amount of food and aid weight loss."
Meanwhile, the newly launched journal will be published out of the Copenhagen, a hotbed of new, innovative and trendsetting modern gastronomy led mainly by chef René Redzepi of Noma, who has been credited with shifting the culinary spotlight to northern Europe and Nordic cuisine.
Flavour is the latest gastro-journal to launch in the world of academia.
Big-name master chefs like Heston Blumenthal, Grant Achatz as well as Redzepi have also lent their names to another scientific journal dedicated to cutting-edge food and cooking technology in the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science launched in January.
In addition to stronger smells, other studies have shown that eating off smaller plates and using bigger forks can also help control portion sizes.