Food & Beverage

Is this the formula to the ‘perfect’ burger?

It's often said we eat with our eyes, but one food expert suggests that to truly enjoy a burger, you need all five senses.

Professional chef and flavor researcher, Charles Michel, has devised a multisensory formula, to create a "perfectly balanced burger." He believes that taste is not the most important component.

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To create the ultimate burger that awakens all the senses, Michel believes that smell should account for 30 percent, touch for 25 percent, and 15 percent for sound, sight and surprisingly taste, respectively.

"Science has shown that deliciousness is a perception created by our brains with stimulation coming from all the senses, and not only a sensation happening in our mouth. We actually 'taste' food with all of our senses," Michel said in a press release Wednesday.

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The professional chef and researcher on flavor perception at Oxford University's Crossmodal Research Laboratory, also stated it was "scientifically inaccurate" to think that food's deliciousness just comes down to taste.

Using his own research and previous scientific studies, Michel uncovered that atmospheric sounds like chewing and background noises can potentially influence a burger tasting experience, with more research suggesting we "eat with our ears".

"The formula is a combination of scientific insight and intuition. But more than that, it's about making people more curious about the sensory complexity and richness of eating experiences in general, especially when it comes to such a succesful food as the burger (an über-food, one might say)," Michel told CNBC via email on Wednesday.

Michel argued that taste is just one key component, yet he's calculated how the five "basic tastes" can be perfectly balanced in a burger: 35 percent umami (savory), 25 percent saltiness, 20 percent sweetness, 15 percent sourness, and 5 percent bitterness.

Courtesy of Charles Michel and Freuds PR

Commissioned by the Wal-Mart owned U.K. supermarket chain, Asda, to find out the formula, Michel has concocted a perfect 7 cm tall burger. The product is made of nine layers, including a 1 cm-thick patty of Wagyu beef, chipotle sauce, Camembert, dried Serrano ham, and crunchy vegetables, iced lettuce and gherkin.

Some of the ingredients might seen upmarket for the humble burger. But Michel said he selected them because of their "sonic and textural properties."

Other tips suggested by Michel may seem peculiar at first – including how naming a burger can change people's perceptions, and eating with your hands rather than burgers served on a plate – however, these ideas are often replicated by global burger chains and in eating etiquette.

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Other scientists have claimed in the past to have created the perfect burger or formula, including the recent attempt by food scientist, Dr Stuart Farrimond, who used optimum cooking temperatures and ingredients to create his own formula. However, Michel claims his is different by accounting all senses, rather than just focusing on taste.

"It's important to get the ideal enjoyment both in the culinary preparation, and in the consumption experience (the multisensory atmosphere)," said Michel.

"Food is essential to our well-being (both physical and psychological), and whenever we indulge ourselves in a burger, we might as well make it right, thinking about quality rather than quantity!"

—By CNBC's Alexandra Gibbs, follow her on Twitter @AlexGibbsy.