Lights enhance the taste of food

Lights enhance the taste of food

Are there any restaurants where dishes are served under lights that can enhance the taste of the food? For now, we don’t have news about restaurant menus that also include the type of lighting style for each serving…And yet, we know that each type of food is made up of its own colour, texture and volume that can be enhanced with the right lighting. Let us explain this concept with a simple example. A store that sells precious items will illuminate its wares in a different manner compared to a store that sells fruit and vegetables. This fact is taken into serious account by those stores that are very careful about their image and on how their products are perceived. It is also the case of supermarkets where each food type has its own lighting.

The table below shows the best colour temperatures to highlight the freshness of different foods (Disano, FRESH FOOD LED LIGHTING)


The colour of the food we eat is connected with the perception of their flavour and triggers specific feelings: green gives us energy to activate the self-healing process, orange conveys a sense of joy, white purifies, and brown is associated with wholesome organic products from the ground. So why not think of a lighting scheme capable of enhancing all these feelings and give our restaurant experience a whole new set of perceptions? Something of this kind has already been done.

A recent study of the Journal of Marketing Research shows that a well-lit restaurant helps customers choose healthier foods (20% more compared to dimmer restaurants), whereas in rooms with softer lights customers will likely choose fat, fried foods, or sweets. Therefore, lighting unconsciously increases our attention to what we eat and to our health. We also tend to eat slower under dim lights rather than in brighter rooms.

Another interesting research was carried out in a restaurant by Brian Wansink and Koert Van Ittersum, from Cornell University and the Georgia Institute of Technology, respectively. Their research offered other significant points of discussion. A restaurant was divided into two dining areas, one had bright lights and loud music, and the other had softer lights and music. In the first dining area, customers ordered (and ate) a greater amount of food in less time, though their final judgement of the restaurant was negative in the end.

Nothing was said about the lights or whether they were too bright or too dim and, perhaps, they were not even taken into consideration. But the fact that the topic is of some interest is demonstrated by an exhibition held last year in Milan at the Accademia di Brera, titled Luce e Cibo (Light and Food), where a set of dishes were presented under specific music and adequate lights. Also, there is a specific branch of photography called food photography that uses an extremely sophisticated lighting technique to give the dishes we see on food magazines the most inviting appearance possible.

The fact that the colour of lights affects the perception of our taste has been recently demonstrated by an experiment conducted at Cambridge by the e-Luminate Foundation that organizes one of the UK’s most popular lights festival. The participants were given the chance to taste Bosca spumante in rooms immersed in lights of different colours. The first results of the experiment showed that under blue and red lights most participants perceived the spumante wine with a fuller and richer flavour.

With the evolution of LED and the growing passion for gourmand cooking, the future will see the list of lighting selections become as customary as the wine list!

  • Posted by Redazione
  • On August 3, 2016
Tags: Freshfood, led, news, restaurant