Lighting effects on the perception of fresh produce

Fan Zhang, Sylvia Pont

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


In previous works we presented a systematic canonical modes approach to testing and predicting lighting effects on material perception. In the current study we test lighting effects on fresh produce using our canonical approach. In several studies related to research into still life painting conventions and perception it is noted that strong highlights will render fruits and vegetables more “appetizing”. This implies that more directed lighting will make fresh produce look more “appetizing”. Here we wanted to test this hypothesis and the relation between “appetizing” and other attributes. In a real setup we presented a red apple, a green apple, a banana, an orange, a potato, and a pepper under diffused and focused light. In each trial, one object was presented in a box on a neutral grey floor with white walls. In a rating experiment, we asked observers to judge the six objects under the two illuminations on ten qualities, including seven qualities tested by Schifferstein et al. (2016), namely “appetizing”, “healthy”, “fresh”, “natural”, “beautiful’, “tasty”, “attractive”, and three qualities that are commonly tested in material perception studies, namely “soft”, “smooth”, and “glossy”. Previously we found that lighting effects were material dependent and stronger for materials with peaked BRDFs. Thus, in the current study, we expected the lighting effects to be stronger for the apple, orange, and pepper than for the more matte banana and potato. In preliminary results with 7 observers, 1) only the separate data for the pepper were confirming the hypothesis that focused light makes fresh produce look more appetizing, 2) for which the ratings were higher for focused than for diffused lighting, except for natural, beautiful, attractive, and soft.
Original languageEnglish
Article number244
JournalJournal of Vision
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


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