Listening to your favourite music will make your dessert taste even better, new research has found.

Those sweet beats enhance the sweet flavour of indulgent foods like chocolate and icecream, the study - the brainchild of gelato king Giapo Grazioli - found.

Music you don't like increases perception of bitterness and unpleasant flavours.

Forty-five participants in the Auckland University of Technology study tasted dark, bittersweet and milk chocolate gelato while listening to different types of music and then rated their level of enjoyment.


The study, published in the journal Appetite, found icecream tasted sweeter and more pleasant when participants listened to music from a genre they liked.

The opposite happened with music from a style they didn't like.

When they tasted the same ice-cream while listening to music from a genre they didn't like, they rated gelato as more bitter and less pleasant.

"We tried to measure the hedonistic level of how people were feeling when they listened to the music, and we found out that disliked music decreased the pleasantness ratings of all the chocolate gelati," Mr Grazioli, from Giapo Haute Ice Cream in Queen St, said.

"These findings give an idea that we eat with our brain before we eat with our tastebuds.

"It's the first study in the world to show that taste perception actually changes with different music."

Because music and taste was so subjective, Mr Grazioli said it would be difficult to incorporate the research into his store.

"It's a little bit more complicated than that because we are all different, and you like music that probably I don't like and so does everyone else," he said.


"This study actually tells us that for whatever you like in terms of music, if I give you something you may like that something a little bit more because probably your brain is at ease."

Noises and settings can trigger individual emotions and memories, and they were different for everyone, he said.