Air Up: Redefining Flavor Perception Through Science and Design

Air Up: Redefining Flavor Perception Through Science and Design

Air Up Compatible Flavor Pods

Lena Jüngst and Tim Jäger, two visionary German university students, founded Air Up after their exploration of Neurogastronomy: How the Brain Creates Flavor and Why It Matters, a book authored by neuroscientist Gordon M. Shepherd. Shepherd's book challenges traditional beliefs by underscoring the critical role of the sense of smell in flavor perception. Inspired by these insights, Jüngst and Jäger embarked on a mission to create the first Air Up prototype, guided by the motto "Neuroscience meets design." Their overarching goal is to enhance global health by addressing poor nutrition, particularly inadequate hydration. This innovative water bottle is designed to accommodate 15 distinctive flavor pods and is available in both plastic and stainless steel versions, offering personalization options with a variety of colorful accessories.

Air Up Compatible Food Grade Flavor Pods and Bottles: Sipperment

How Air Up works

Experience the artistry of enhancing water with scent through Air Up's innovative approach. Air Up highlights the importance of olfactory receptors, capable of discerning an astonishing 1 trillion scents. The brand explains:

"Retronasal smelling is our secret ingredient, allowing us to infuse 'flavored' air from our pods into plain water. Our bottles ensure that every sip is a sensory delight as your nasal receptors interpret this 'flavored' air as taste. Remarkably, your water remains unaltered in taste, but your palate experiences a burst of flavor through your sense of smell."

With Air Up, you'll witness the fusion of scent and taste like never before.

Maximize the flavorful potential of Air Up with these step-by-step instructions. Commence by filling your water bottle to the capacity line and affixing the mouthpiece with the straw. Place the circular pod over the mouthpiece, ensuring activation. As you sip, relish the experience of scented air bubbles traveling through the straw, turning into delectable taste sensations.

Air Up Compatible Food Grade Flavor Pods and Bottles: Sipperment

How we tested Air Up

At the Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances and Innovation Lab, our quest for evaluating water bottles is a meticulous one. We've tested countless options, scrutinizing their performance, durability, and user-friendliness. But when it came to Air Up, we went the extra mile.

Our testing panel, composed of 11 individuals from various backgrounds, was a diverse blend of consumers, dietitians, kitchen gear experts, engineers, and chemists. Together, we generated a wealth of data, amassing over a hundred data points and eliciting invaluable feedback. This encompassed everything from taste impressions to comfort during usage and shifts in hydration habits.

Within our Lab, we left no stone unturned. We subjected both plastic and stainless steel Air Up models to drop and leak tests. Our examination extended to nine distinct flavor pods, which we meticulously evaluated for flavor quality, durability, and intensity. Usability wasn't forgotten either; we assessed the water bottle's ease of filling, carrying, drinking from, and cleaning.

Air Up Compatible Food Grade Flavor Pods and Bottles: Sipperment

What is in the flavor pods?

The flavorings in the pods are allegedly manufactured from natural tastes that are taken from plants, fruits, and spices, claims Air Up. The business stated that certain elements "relate to Air Up's [intellectual property] are proprietary." The brand's website now offers 15 varieties, ranging from apple to basil-lemon to orange-vanilla. You may get three packs of your favorite smell or variety packs of scents that include five of the most popular scents. A few flavor pods are also included in each water bottle beginning set. Due to individual tastes, no smell in our samples emerged as the clear winner. According to one reviewer who loves watermelon-flavored beverages, the watermelon pod smelled good.

Air Up Compatible Food Grade Flavor Pods and Bottles: Sipperment

How long do Air Up pods last?

Air Up proudly claims that each of its pods can enhance approximately 1.3 gallons of water with enticing scents. The company also advises consumers to take note of the "best before" date on each pod, as the scent's potency may decrease over time, with the freshest experience achieved when the pod is recently opened. It's essential to store the pods in their original packaging, as they are not washable and should be unsealed only before attaching to your water bottle.

Our findings revealed that if the pods remained affixed to the water bottle for an extended period without use, the aroma gradually faded, leading to a less pronounced "flavor" for the water. In light of the per-pod cost and the current online-only purchasing option, our experts expressed the wish for longer-lasting pods.

Air Up Compatible Food Grade Flavor Pods and Bottles: Sipperment

Does the Air Up water bottle work?

Do Air Up water bottles truly deliver on their promise? Our thorough evaluation confirmed that they successfully infuse water with the flavors of their pods. Among the flavors we tested, the mango-passionfruit pod impressed with its juicy and delightful "flavor." However, opinions on the orange-vanilla pod were divided, with some perceiving it as somewhat artificial.

As we sifted through the data and feedback from our testers, it became clear that individual preferences and scent perception played a significant role in the experience. Scent perception is a highly personal matter, influenced by individual associations and the uniqueness of each person's sense of smell. Some testers did not foresee incorporating the Air Up water bottle into their daily routine after testing, while others regarded it as an innovative addition.

One tester stated, "Inhaling the scent didn't enhance the flavor for me," while another commented, "This is no gimmick. On days when I find plain water unappealing, the Air Up bottle makes hydration more enjoyable." Ultimately, your interaction with Air Up hinges on your sensory experience.

Air Up Compatible Food Grade Flavor Pods and Bottles: Sipperment

Additional Lab and tester notes

Join us in assessing the durability, weight, and comfort attributes of Air Up water bottles. We've conducted a detailed examination of the lightweight plastic version and compared it to the robust stainless steel counterpart in terms of weight.

Through comprehensive drop testing, we've evaluated how well both materials can withstand multiple drops onto hard concrete surfaces, highlighting their distinct qualities. These practical tests provide valuable insights into their durability.

Our leak testing procedures focused on evaluating the bottles' ability to maintain a watertight seal when placed horizontally with tightly secured lids. Explore the differences in leak resistance between the plastic and stainless steel variations.

Furthermore, we delved into the comfort aspect of the Air Up water bottle, particularly focusing on the mouthpiece and ease of sipping. Cleaning and maintenance considerations, including the advantages of the stainless steel model, are also discussed.

Air Up Compatible Food Grade Flavor Pods and Bottles: Sipperment

So, is the Air Up water bottle worth it?

Is the Air Up water bottle a worthwhile investment? This innovative bottle is designed for those who enjoy the taste of flavored water and find it easier to stay hydrated with a hint of flavor.

According to Stefani Sassos, M.S., R.D.N., C.S.O., C.D.N., NASM-CPT, the Nutrition Lab Director at the Good Housekeeping Institute, "People who struggle with staying hydrated might appreciate this bottle, especially those who find plain water unappealing." If you lead a busy life and don't have the time to infuse your water with fresh ingredients, Air Up could be a game-changer.

However, it's crucial to consider that the Air Up water bottle may not be suitable for everyone, particularly those who consume substantial quantities of water and need a larger bottle capacity (the plastic version holds 22 ounces, while the stainless steel version holds 28 ounces). As one tester mentioned, "I wish it came in different sizes to reduce the need for frequent refills."

Additionally, budget considerations come into play, as regularly purchasing flavor pods can impact your finances. A three-pack of pods, which flavors approximately 3.9 gallons of water, may become an ongoing expense. Nevertheless, with seven out of 11 testers endorsing Air Up, it seems to have garnered widespread approval.

Air Up Compatible Food Grade Flavor Pods and Bottles: Sipperment

ref: Air Up Water Bottle Review: We Tested the Water Bottle That "Flavors" Water Via Scent

Reading next

Air Up: Revolutionizing Flavor with the Power of Neuroscience
Unlocking the Magic of Flavor Perception with Air Up

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