254 Views |  Like

Why is pizza so addictive?

“I’m fascinated by the fact that people will eat almost any kind of pizza — not necessarily the ‘best’ pizza — and part of that is the fact that it is the uber selection of ingredients that have fat, sugar and salt, that pleases the amygdala [a set of neurons in the brain] and makes the brain very happy,” said Gail Vance Civille, founder and president of Sensory Spectrum, a consulting firm that helps companies, including pizza companies, learn how sensory cues drive consumer perceptions of products. “It delivers on the food matrix that people tend to crave and want, and feeds the brain, which says ‘this is just wonderful.’ “

“It’s the Holy Trinity of crust, cheese and sauce that really accentuates that whole umami thing,” said Bill DeJournett, managing editor of PMQ Pizza Magazine. “Cheese is addictive on its own … and what is better than bread and cheese? And then when you pair with sauce, it takes it to a whole new level, and it’s irresistible.”

Herbert Stone, a sensory scientist for 50 years, has worked with some of the nation’s top pizza companies in order to enhance pizza’s appeal to consumers. “That combination, when heated, has enormous appeal,” he said. “It’s addictive because there is nothing offensive about it. … There is nothing not to like.”

DeJournett added, “no matter what the pizza style is, if you have a pizza in the oven, that pizza will smell great. And it will make you hungry.”

Original article: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/12/06/health/pizza-addictive-food-drayer/index.html