A tall glass of cold, sweet milkshake is perfect for lifting our spirits on a sweltering summer day. From chocolate shake to strawberry shake; a creamy and flavourful concoction with the right mix of flavours makes for an ideal summer beverage. These milkshakes are healthy for their high content of calcium and other nutrients coming from milk. However, the only point of contention that may put a milkshake in the spot is its high content of sugar. Milkshakes are purposely sweetened with sugar for that delectable sweetness that finds favour with everyone's sweet tooth. But, we all know that too-much sugar is bad for us. To help us keep enjoying a hearty glass of milkshake without any guilt, a study has come up with a solution.
The study that was published in the journal Food Quality and Preference, suggests that in order to limit the consumption of sugar, add vanilla to milkshakes. The study discovered that the flavour of vanilla makes the drink seems sweeter and the human brain buys it. In fact, by adding vanilla, the level of sugar in milk beverages can be cut down by 20 to 50 per cent, as suggested by lead researcher Gloria Wang who conducted the research at Pennsylvania State University in the US. It is believed that congruent or harmonious odour of vanilla essence enhances the taste of milkshakes.
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Helene Hopfer, Assistant Professor of Food Science at Pennsylvania State University in the US said, "Reducing added sugar in products, just like reducing fat and salt, is the holy grail of food science."
For the study, a blind taste test was carried out that analysed taste enhancement by an aroma. It was found that participants who did not know that vanilla had been added to the milk kept on rating samples with vanilla significantly sweeter than their added sugar concentrations.
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"We maintain the sweetness perception by having this congruent odour -- this learned, associated odour -- basically trick the brain into thinking that there is still enough sweetness there," said Wang, now an associate scientist in product development with Leprino Foods Co. in Colorado, US.
The researchers have termed the findings as a great way to reduce the intake of sugar in the consumers' diet and help them live a healthier life.