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The Premium Edition adds important features such as complete software maintenance, security advisory, frequent minor upgrade versions, downloads, Pack exports and imports, 24×7 scheduling and more. Simply double-click the downloaded file to install it. You can choose your language settings from within the program. A number of years ago, food giant Unilever polled consumers asking how the company might improve their popular line of Magnum ice cream bars. The problem, respondents said, was that the chocolate coating of the bars tended to fall off too quickly, creating blotches of sticky goo on carpeting. When they tested the new and improved product, they expected a warm reception. Instead, they got more complaints than before.
While the updated bar didn’t make a mess, it also didn’t make the distinctive crackle that its fans had grown accustomed to. Deprived of hearing the coating collapse and crumble, the experience of eating the ice cream was fundamentally changed. Smell and taste researcher Alan Hirsch, M. Humans love crunchy, noisy snacks, that loud rattling that travels to our inner ear via air and bone conduction and helps us identify what it is we’re consuming. Depending on the snack, the noise can reach 63 decibels.
When we hear it, we eat more. When we don’t—as in the case of Magnum bars, or a soggy, muted potato chip—we resort to other senses, looking at our food with doubt or sniffing it for signs of expiration. Psychologically, our lust for crispy sustenance is baked in. But why is it so satisfying to create a cacophony of crunch? And if we love it so much, why do some of us actually grow agitated and even aggressive when we hear someone loudly chomping away?
The science of crunch has long intrigued Charles Spence, Ph. Crossmodal Research Laboratory at the University of Oxford. Food companies have enlisted him and consulted his research across the spectrum of ingestion, from packaging to shapes to the sound chips make rustling around in grocery carts. Noise doesn’t give a benefit in terms of nutrition. But we don’t like soggy crisps even if they taste the same. In 2003, Spence decided to investigate the sonic appeal of chips in a formal setting. To keep a semblance of control, he selected Pringles, which are baked uniformly—a single Pringle doesn’t offer any significant difference in size, thickness, or crunch from another.
The sound of their crunching was looped back into a pair of headphones. After consuming the cans, they were asked if they perceived any difference in freshness or crispness from one Pringle to another. What they didn’t know was that Spence had been playing with the feedback in their headphones, raising or lowering the volume of their noisy crunching . For Spence, the results speak to what he considers the inherent appeal of crunchy foods. The fresher the produce, like apples, celery, or lettuce, the more vitamins and nutrients it’s retained.
It’s telling us what’s in the food. Naturally, this signal becomes slightly misguided when it reinforces the quality of a potato chip, a processed slab of empty calories. The brain likes fat in food, but it’s not so good at detecting it through our mouths. Noisy foods are certainly fattier on average. Fatty or fresh, raising decibels while eating may also have roots in less appetizing behaviors.
For our ancestors who ate insects, the crunch of a hard-bodied cricket symbolized nourishment. In a primal way, violently mincing food with our teeth could also be a way to vent and dilute aggression. All of these factors explain why crunch appeals to us. But is it actually affecting what we taste? Yes—but maybe not the way you’d think. The noise draws attention to the mouth in the way something silent does not.
If you’re eating pâté, your attention can drift elsewhere, to a television or to a dining companion. But a crunch will draw your attention to what you’re eating, making you concentrate on it. Noisy foods make you think about them. That crunch can also influence how much food we consume.