Why we love crispy chips so much, according to science

Many researchers claim that crunchy foods such as potato chips tend to be liked much more than other foods. Here's why.

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Is there anything more pleasurable than enjoying a gastronomic experience with all five senses? Normally when we eat we give a lot of importance to the taste of the food, but also to the visual aspect, the smell or the texture. But this package is completed with the sound of each recipe when ingested. According to culinary experts and many top chefs, this aspect is crucial to the success of a meal. In fact, science determines that crispy food, such as potato chips, tend to be eaten much more than other products.

According to the article Analysis of Food Crusing Sounds During Mastication: Total Sound Level Studies, written by expert William E. Lee in 1990, people eat more potato chips the louder they are. In his experiment, he showed that people who wore noise-canceling headphones while eating ate fewer chips.

For the researchers, the crunch of a food provokes greater interest and stimulation at the time of eating, hence when opening a bag of crispy snacks it is difficult not to finish it in one go. Another argument that supports this theory is a study carried out in 2003 by the Journal of Sensory Studies that sought to determine which fries were the freshest. To determine this, it fitted participants with headphones. During the tasting, the team adjusted the volume of the headphones. The conclusion was that the participants chose the crispiest and loudest fries as the freshest, even though this was not actually the case.

Crunchy food also reduces stress

On the other hand, eating crunchy foods can also reduce stress, explained Dr. Joseph J. Colella, author of the book The appetite solution. “Eating crunchy foods can reduce stress. If we eat a diet of ‘mushy’ foods, our jaw muscles tend to become dull, whereas crunchy food helps to stimulate them,” he said.

Another expert who supports this theory is Charles Spence, an experimental psychologist and professor at Oxford University. He works to determine how we enjoy food. His multimodal studies analyze not only the food itself, but also everything that surrounds it: from the lighting or the sounds, to the environment and the distribution of cutlery.

He has also published the book Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating, which explores the sensory aspects of food. He has conducted several experiments that show why crispy potato chips are liked so much more than the rest. “I think sound in food is a powerful stimulus for us, and most of the snacks we eat, cookies, potato chips, nuts and popcorn make noise,” the professor once said.

And you, are you much more attracted to crunchy food?