Science Fair Project to Test Whether Sight Affects Taste

We do not taste with our tongues only.
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Designing right experiments can lead to a science fair-winning project on how sight affects taste. Sometimes the way a food item looks affects whether a person desires to taste it. Beyond this, the question becomes to what extreme does sight affect taste? Executing the experiments properly is key to transforming this question into a science fair project.

Single Drink

Test to see if color alone affects the taste of a group of subjects with plain club soda and a little food coloring. Some people may associate certain colors with certain flavors. A red liquid may bring visions of cherry flavoring or purple with grape. Run the test by placing a plain glass of club soda with a small amount of orange food coloring added. Have each test subject taste the liquid and write down what flavor she believes it to be. Compare the number of answers of "orange" against all other answers.

Multiple Drinks

Another test for color influencing the taste involves using multiple glasses of the same liquid with different colors. This experiment is more complex in nature than the single drink test and might be used for an upper class project. Perform the experiment by adding red, orange, green and blue food dye to plain soda. Ask test subjects to name the flavor of each. Compare the number of people who said red was cherry or strawberry to those who said some other flavor or no flavor at all. Repeat this for each. Do an overall comparison of the influence of each color. Which color influenced the most people to say the drink had flavor?

Lemon and Orange

Test the effects of sight on taste using pieces of citrus. A lemon and an orange have a similar texture but not similar tastes. Use the similarity to find out if a blindfolded subject can tell the difference. Place several oranges in the test area, such as on a table. Cover the test subjects' eyes after they have had the opportunity to observe the surrounding fruit. Give them a small piece of lemon. Make note of how many say the fruit they are eating is an orange. Did the vision of the oranges on the table affect how they tasted the lemon? With this experiment, ensure the test subjects do not have allergies to citrus.

Same or Different

Discover the influence of sight on taste with a sour verses sweet experiment. Select a sweet variety of red apples and sour green apples. Peel the apples and cut them into small pieces for tasting. Ask test subjects to taste one piece of each and determine if they taste the same. Without being able to see the skin color of the apple, the visual influence for taste is removed. Make note of how many say they are the same as opposed to different.

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