An ingredient essential to taste not found on your spice rack

Obtrusive sound may make spicy dishes like pappardelle arrabiata or chicken vindaloo bland while silence intensifies crispiness and makes salty and sweet flavors sing.

On October 18, the findings from researchers at Unilever and the University of Manchester had gone to "press" for the print edition of the journal Food Quality and Preference.

Andrew Woods, PhD, one of the research scientists involved in the study, explained that "it could be possible to create the perfect sound that can enhance any meal," according to science news site Physorg on October 15. So the next time you are planning a dinner party and are heavy on the salt, you might want to experiment with some hard-hitting background beats.

In addition to affecting taste, background sounds have also been proven to increase the amount of food desired and speed of bites.

Twenty years ago researchers at Tufts University discovered in a study, referenced on HubPages, individuals with no background stimulus "ate at an average rate of 3.9 bites per minute," with nearly 70% satiated and no digestive problems, whereas those influenced by "spirited tunes...sped up to an average of 5.1 bites per minute!"

Access to the study ahead of print, "Effect of background noise on food perception":