In another example of VR bleeding in real life, food scientists at Cornell University discovered that cheese eaten in a pleasant VR environment tasted better than the same cheese in a monotone sensory cabinet.
About 50 panelists who used the virtual Reality headset they ate received three identical blue cheese samples. The study participants were virtually placed in a standard sensory booth, on a pleasant park bench and in the Cornell barn to watch 360 degree tailored videos.
The panelists did not know that the cheese samples were identical and rated the pungency of the blue cheese significantly higher in the cowshed than in the sensorial cabin or in the park's virtual bank.
That's right: cheese tastes better in a virtual farm than in an empty and blank cyberia.
"When we eat, we perceive not only the taste and aroma of food, but also our sensory input: our eyes, ears, even our memories of the environment," said researcher Robin Dando.
To be clear, this research was not designed to confirm if virtual reality can make food taste better, but if virtual reality can be used or not as a kind of taste test, manufacturers can allow People try foods in different places without, for example, putting them on an airplane or inside a real cow barn. Because food has a different flavor in different environments, the ability to simulate those environments in virtual reality is very useful.
"This research validates that virtual reality can be used, because it provides an immersive environment for testing," said Dando. "Visually, virtual reality imparts qualities of the environment itself to the foods that are consumed, which makes this type of test profitable."