Science Focus - the home of BBC Science Focus Magazine

Why is salted caramel so addictive?

Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine and get 6 issues for just £9.99

Nom, nom, nom. Salted caramel is a more complex flavour that keeps us craving more of the delicious, sweet and salty delight.

Asked by: Dexter Middleton, Orpington


It’s official: we can never get enough salted caramel. A 2016 study at the University of Florida found that we eventually tire of foods that contain only one main recognisable flavour component – no matter how scrumptious. But the salty, sweet and fatty elements of salted caramel create a more complex taste that subtly changes with every bite, keeping our brains craving more and more. This is a phenomenon known as ‘hedonic escalation’.

Read more:


Subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun facts.


luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.


Sponsored content