A new study was released about the immediate effects of fat on the brain, and the results were interesting. Seeing as how I feel that fat = flavorful, I was surprised to find that fat actually seems to reduce activity in several areas of the brain which are responsible for processing taste, aroma, and reward.
The research found that the areas of the participants’ brains which are responsible for the perception of flavour, such as the somatosensory cortices and the anterior, mid & posterior insula, were significantly more activated when the non-fatty sample was tested compared to the fatty emulsions despite having the same flavour perception.
Now, they’re not sure how the reduced activity effects your perception of flavor, just that the reduction is there.
”It is important to note that increased activation in these brain areas does not necessarily result in increased perception of flavour or reward.“
Dr Joan Hort, one of the researchers notes:
”…This is the first brain study to assess the effect of fat on the processing of flavour perception and it raises questions as to why fat emulsions suppress the cortical response in brain areas linked to the processing of flavour and reward.”