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How The Food Industry Helps Engineer Our Cravings, by NPR


Stashed in: Nutrition, Sugar, Food Industry, The News

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On what it means to "perfectly engineer" food

They would hire people like Howard Moskowitz, trained in high math at Queens College and experimental psychology at Harvard. Howard was one of the people responsible for some of the biggest icons in the grocery store.

For example, he walked me through his recent creation of a new soda flavor for Dr. Pepper. ... He started with no less than 59 variations of sweetness, each one slightly different than the next, subjected those to 3,000 taste tests around the country, did his high math regression analysis thing, put the data in the computer. And out comes this bell-shaped curve where the perfect amount of sweetness — not too little, not too much — is at the very top of the curve.

And it's Howard who coined the expression "bliss point" to capture that perfect amount of sweetness that would send us over the moon, their products flying off the shelf.

The concept of perfectly engineered food frightens me.

They're using our brains against ourselves. 

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