Apparently, plate rotation can improve the perception of flavour …

In a flap about a dinner party? That lacklustre meal can be transformed into a feast with a few non-cooking related tips.

 

Apparently, the simple act of rotating your plate can make the food on it taste better, say psychologists.

Oxford University carried out an experiment on 12,000 people at London’s Science Museum and found that food pointing away from diners, and marginally to the right, was perceived to be more delicious.

 

In a different internet-based study, researchers found that the perfect plate orientation is for the food to point at 3.2 degrees clockwise to the right of the vertical axis of the plate. The findings were based on data from 1,667 participants.

 

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Lead researcher Charles Michel, chef-in-residence at the Crossmodal research laboratory at Oxford University, said that the findings could help enhance “everyday food experiences”.

 

Michel added: “This everyday action that some of us do might hint at the fact that we all enjoy our food more when it is ‘oriented' in the best way possible.

 

“Indeed, by arranging the food to 'look better', we might be unconsciously enhancing its perceived value, and hence our enjoyment of it.

 

“In our Western cultures, we seem to associate left with 'wrong' and down with 'less', also right with 'right', and up with 'more'.”

 

Psychology professor Charles Spence, who contributed to the research paper that was published in Food Quality and Preference, added: “Something pointed towards us triggers brain-fear circuits, and this is why it might be liked less.

 

“What we see automatically sets expectations about what it is that we are about to eat, and how much we think we are going to like it.”

 

It's official: the hot new dinner party accessory is now a protractor.