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Patch infused with smell of bacon developed ‘to help vegans and vegetarians with meat cravings’

Sabrina Barr
Matt Crossick/PA Wire

A patch infused with the scent of bacon has been developed by a scientist with the aim of helping people who choose to adopt a plant-based diet curb their meat cravings.

The device was created by Charles Spence, a professor of experimental psychology at the University of Oxford.

Spence, who specialises in sensory perception and the way in which the mind is connected to our senses of taste and smell, collaborated with plant-based food company Strong Roots to create the patch.

When a person who is wearing the patch scratches it, it produces a smell similar to that of cooked bacon.

Professor Spence explained that this may help those who wish to refrain from eating meat to “imagine” that they are eating bacon, which should supposedly sate their appetite.

“Studies have shown that scent can reduce food cravings,” said the author of Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating.

“Our sense of smell is strongly connected to our ability to taste therefore experiencing food related cues such as smelling a bacon aroma, can lead us to imagine the act of eating that food. Imagine eating enough bacon and you might find yourself sated.”

This week, the patches are being trialled in Reading, Leeds and Liverpool.

Strong Roots stated that the company hopes the product will become more widely-available to consumers in the future.

The patch is being promoted by former Love Island contestant and boxer Tommy Fury, who said on his Instagram Story: “I’ve been hearing a lot about Veganuary, and I really wanted to try it. One of my new year’s resolutions was to cut back on meat.”

While some may think the product is innovative, described by Strong Roots founder Samuel Dennigan as “the world’s first ever meat patch”, others have expressed their cynicism.

“This surely can’t be an actual thing,” one person tweeted.​

“April Fool’s Day has come early this year?” another remarked.

Over the past few years, the vegan market has become saturated with new products, with an increasing number of food manufacturers jumping on the plant-based bandwagon.

It was recently reported that Leon’s vegan burgers have become more popular than its meat versions, while earlier this month restaurant Wagamama announced it was to start serving “vegan tuna” made from watermelon.

However, not all vegan food launches have been smooth-sailing.

Earlier this year, KFC launched its new vegan Quorn “chicken” burger.

Shortly afterwards, several customers complained that they had been served the meat version in error.

A KFC spokesperson issued an apology with regards to the wrong orders, stating: “We’re only human.”

“We’re really pleased so many fans have come in to try the vegan burger this week, that said, we know there’s been a handful of instances where we’ve made mistakes… it’s not great and we’re really sorry that’s happened,” the spokesperson told The Independent.​

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