Do Different Colored Froot Loops Actually Have Their Own Flavors?

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Rainbow-hued Froot Loops seem like each color would have a different fruity taste. The cereal comes with a mix of red, orange, yellow, green, purple, and sometimes blue hoops, depending on which country you buy them in, which might make you think you were enjoying the breakfast cereal version of a fruit salad. You may have even sampled the different colors individually and sworn that you could taste the difference. Well, it turns out that every loop tastes exactly the same no matter what the color is.

While this may come as a shock, it totally makes sense. Color plays a huge role in how humans experience taste and aroma. A food with a familiar taste, but an unfamiliar color, can be perceived as having a totally different flavor. For example, in the book "Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating," author Charles Spence describes how color affects taste. In an experiment, participants were presented with white wine that was dyed red and both regular folks and wine experts alike often completely misidentified the tasting notes (per Science Friday).

So what do Froot Loops actually taste like?

Kellogg's notes that the flavor is a mix of lemon, lime, and orange. The cereal does include natural flavors, but the main ingredients are a mix of corn, wheat, oat flour, and, of course, sugar. The version sold in the United States includes artificial dyes to get more brilliant colors while the Froot Loops sold in countries like Australia, United Kingdom, and Canada have a more muted hue from natural dyes.

When the cereal originally debuted in 1959, Froot Loops only had red, orange, and yellow loops. It was also originally called Fruit — not Froot — Loops, but had to change the name after a lawsuit over the fact that there was no actual fruit in the cereal. The cereal was originally meant to taste like orange, lemon, and cherry. The flavor has reportedly stayed the same since it was originally launched — though the specific fruits referenced in advertising campaigns have varied.

Fans of Froot Loops who have gotten to taste the American version (compared to others that only include natural flavorings and dyes) tend to say that the original version with artificial colors tastes much better. Others however say there isn't much of a difference. The composition of the products does differ some, and perhaps nostalgia and color association play a role in the opinions people have.