The influence of the context on the perception of food is studied by having a group of 57 french oenology students tasting the same wine in two different packages (common table wine VDT and grand cru classé GCC). This context modification does not affect the stimulus itself but only the cognitive part of the perception. Results show that the packaging induces different judgments for the same wine. All the tasters give different marks for both wines and the GCC wine has significant (52/57) best records. Lexical analysis of wine tasting comments in both contexts reveals totally opposite describing behaviors of the tasters, most of the subjects looking for faults in the wine presented as VDT and seekink qualities in the GCC labeled wine. Subjects tend to adjust their sensory perceptions to the quality suggested by the label. From a sensory analysis point of view, our results emphasize the role of context in food perception. The perceived flavour of the wine is different when it is tasted in a different context. From a cognitive point of view, these data suggest that the conscious perceptive representation of the food contains information from different origins and that a subject is not able to selectively extract chemiosensory information from this global representation.
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