Post of the Month: FEBRUARY 2023

Can gamified smell training increase the liking of fruit and vegetables?

Linnea Apelman, PhD Student, Department of Food Studies, Nutrition and Dietetics, Uppsala University, Sweden





“I am interested to find out if repeated sensory exposure, in the form of gamified smell identification tasks, can impact food liking. I am especially curious about raising the willingness to try fruit and vegetables among children”






Photos by Andreas Matsson


Why fruit and vegetables?

Apart from the obvious sustainability benefits of greener food consumption such as a healthier planet and healthier individuals, in childhood, many of us tend to reject fruit and vegetables more often than other food groups. And when we are little is when our food preference patterns are starting to form.

What is gamified smell training?

My Swedish colleagues at the universities of Malmö and Stockholm have invented a device and software called Exerscent, which is gamifying olfactory enhancement strategies. My aim is to use the software to collect smell identification data from children.

Why the focus on olfaction?

Olfaction researchers have tried out smell training with positive results, using identification tasks. And food science researchers have learned that olfaction plays a key role in food preferences. I am interested in combining these two lessons learned and trying to impact food liking using gamified olfactory training such as smell identification tasks.

The first step is to gather smell identification data from Swedish school children, together with food preference data and see if there is a connection. The next step would be to conduct a randomized controlled trial, with gamified olfactory identification tasks done repeatedly as the intervention.

To know more about the research I do, please visit the website of my research project:

Lastly, on behalf of the board of the Swedish Sensory Science Network, I also welcome you all to visit Uppsala, Sweden on the 15th and 16th of May and to attend this year’s E3S Symposium. Read more and sign up at the 2023 E3S Symposium website:

Do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about my PhD project or the Symposium. I look forward to meeting you there!

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