Hot chocolate tastes better when drunk from an orange or cream-colored cup, according to a new study that offers more evidence that the way in which food or drink is served significantly influences perception of taste.

Researchers at the Polytechnic University of Valencia and the University of Oxford found that hot chocolate served from an orange of beige colored cup tastes better than hot chocolate served in a white or red cup.

The researchers asked 57 volunteers to taste hot chocolate served in plastic cups with four different colors. All the cups were of the same size but of different colors: white, cream, red and orange with white on the inside.

While the hot cocoa served in all the cups was the same in all the samples, the study published in the Journal of Sensory Studies, revealed the chocolate served in orange or cream-colored cups tasted significantly better than chocolate served in other cups.

Cup color did not significantly influence the sweetness and the smell of the hot chocolate. However, researchers did note that participants mentioned that the chocolate was slightly sweeter and more aromatic in a cream colored cup.

"The color of the container where food and drink are served can enhance some attributes like taste and aroma," Betina Piqueras-Fiszman, researcher at the Polytechnic University of Valencia in Spain, said in a statement.

"There is no fixed rule stating that flavor and aroma are enhanced in a cup of a certain colors or shade," she explained. "In reality this varies depending on the type of food, but the truth is that, as this effect occurs, more attention should be paid to the color of the container as it has more potential than one could imagine."

Researchers said that the latest findings could help them understand how the brain integrates visual information not from food itself but from the plate or container from which it is consumed.

The findings may also be useful for chefs and food and packaging manufactures who want to better satisfy their customers.

The study is published in the Journal of Sensory Studies.