Among the senses of food, our subjective sense of taste is significantly influenced by our visual perception. In appetite science, previous research has reported that when we estimate quality in daily life, we rely considerably on visual information. This study focused on the multimodal mental imagery evoked by the visual information of food served on a plate and examined the effect of the peripheral visual information of garnish on the sensory impression of the main dish. A sensory evaluation experiment was conducted to evaluate the impressions of food photographs, and multivariate analysis was used to structure sensory values. It was found that the appearance of the garnish placed on the plates close to the main dish contributes to visual appetite stimulants. It is evident that color, moisture, and taste (sourness and spiciness) play a major role in the acceptability of food. To stimulate one’s appetite, it is important to make the main dish appear warm. These results can be used to modulate the eating experience and stimulate appetite. Applying these results to meals can improve the dining experience by superimposing visual information with augmented reality technology or by presenting real appropriate garnishes.
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