Flavour – is it all in the mind?

Most of us know that experiencing flavour doesn’t just involve our tastebuds, but what other factors are influencing us when we eat and why is it so important?

In this episode of the Table Talk podcast, Stefan Gates is joined by Betina Piqueras Fiszman, Associate Professor at Wageningen University. They discuss the history of taste and flavour, and the important role they have played in human evolution.

From bitterness helping us avoid poisons, to making foods more palatable for hospital patients, taste and flavour have played, and continue to play, a key role in keeping us alive.

But what tricks can be used to enhance flavour? What role do emotions play in the eating experience? And what can be done for people who have lost their sense of taste as a result of Covid?

Oh, and we find out if Stefan is a ‘supertaster’.

Betina Piqueras Fiszman, Associate Professor, Wageningen University

Betina’s research focuses on the exploration of new ways to understand consumer food preferences and motivations. She investigates these processes by looking into relationships between the sensory characteristics of the product, consumer traits, cognitive and contextual factors, and their combined effect on perception, behaviour, and memorability.

She has published more than 70 scientific peer-reviewed papers and book chapters. She actively contributes to various international academic symposiums, courses, and other public events, lectures and podcasts.

Betina is co-author of the book The Perfect Meal (2015 Prose Award) and co-edited the book Multisensory Flavor Perception. She currently sits on the editorial boards of the scientific journals Food Quality and Preference and Appetite.

head with pink brain and flowers

Listen to our podcast here

Latest episodes

Food allergy regulations and opportunities – are you up to date?

What will motivate food consumers in 2030?

Agriculture – are we prepared for the next technological revolution?

Confectionary and potato starch – a match made in heaven?


Flavour – is it all in the mind?