The Taste of Visual Textures

Francisco Barbosa Escobar*, Qian Janice Wang, Andrés Corredor, Carlos Velasco

*Corresponding author for this work

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Numerous crossmodal correspondences between visual elements and basic tastes have been documented in recent years. Research has shown that many of these correspondences can influence taste expectations when applied in food packaging. However, research on correspondences between visual textures and tastes is scarce, despite the ability of the former to convey specific information about materials and objects. In the present study, we conducted two online experiments designed to study crossmodal correspondences between basic taste words and visual textures with common material properties. In Experiment 1 (N = 194), we evaluated explicit associations between six visual texture categories (with four levels of each category) and basic taste words. The results revealed moderate associations between one of the fluffy visual textures and sweetness and between a rough and a crunchy visual texture and saltiness. In Experiment 2 (N = 407), we superimposed the visual textures associated with the basic tastes found in Experiment 1 on food extrinsic factors (i.e., packaging, napkin) served in combination with products of three taste qualities (i.e., neutral/ambiguous, sweet, salty). We did not find evidence supporting the idea that visual textures that are crossmodally corresponding to specific tastes, as revealed in Experiment 1, influenced taste expectations. The results of the study suggest that the strength of the crossmodal correspondence between visual textures and basic taste words studied here is moderate.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104602
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Affect
  • Basic tastes
  • Crossmodal correspondences
  • Curvature
  • Packaging
  • Visual textures

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