Air Up: Revolutionizing Flavor Perception through Neuroscience

Air Up: Revolutionizing Flavor Perception through Neuroscience

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 notions 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

Peer into the future of flavor perception with Air Up, where scent takes the lead. Air Up underscores the importance of olfactory receptors, capable of discerning a remarkable

1 trillion scents. The brand elaborates:

"Retronasal smelling is the future of taste, and Air Up is at the forefront of this revolution. It's how we infuse 'flavored' air from our pods into plain water. Our bottles ensure that every sip is a futuristic flavor experience, with your nasal receptors transforming 'flavored' air into taste. Astoundingly, your water remains unchanged in taste, but your palate embarks on a sensory journey through your sense of smell."

With Air Up, you'll witness the future of flavor perception unfold before your senses.

Elevate your sensory experience with Air Up by mastering these easy steps. Begin by filling your water bottle to the capacity line and attaching the mouthpiece with the straw. Place the circular pod over the mouthpiece, ensuring it's activated. When you sip, embrace the enchanting path of scented air bubbles through the straw, elevating your taste perception.

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, water bottles are a frequent subject of examination. We rigorously evaluate them for performance, durability, and user-friendliness. However, when the Air Up water bottle came onto our radar, we knew it was time for a unique testing approach.

Our dedicated 11-person testing panel, consisting of consumers, dietitians, kitchen equipment experts, engineers, and chemists, embarked on a comprehensive journey. This endeavor resulted in over a hundred data points and invaluable feedback, encompassing taste perceptions, comfort during usage, and shifts in hydration habits.

In our Lab, we didn't skimp on testing. We conducted drop and leak tests on both plastic and stainless steel Air Up models. Our assessment extended to nine distinct flavor pods, which we meticulously rated for flavor quality, longevity, and strength. We also examined the water bottle's ease of use, considering aspects such as filling, carrying, drinking, and cleaning.

Air Up Compatible Food Grade Flavor Pods and Bottles: Sipperment

What is in the flavor pods?

Air Up's commitment to natural ingredients shines through in their flavor pods. These pods are meticulously crafted using natural flavors extracted from plants, fruits, and spices. While the brand keeps specific intellectual property details under wraps, their dedication to pure, natural elements is clear.

With a diverse selection of 15 flavors available on their website, ranging from apple to basil-lemon to orange-vanilla, Air Up offers something for everyone. You can explore these scents through variety packs or opt for three-packs of your favorites. Additionally, each water bottle starter set includes a curated assortment of flavor pods.

In our testing, personal preferences played a significant role, as no single scent received unanimous acclaim. Testers provided valuable feedback on scent strength and flavor experiences.

Air Up Compatible Food Grade Flavor Pods and Bottles: Sipperment

How long do Air Up pods last?

Air Up asserts that each of its pods can enhance approximately 1.3 gallons of water with delightful scents. Furthermore, the company recommends checking the "best before" date on each pod, as the scent's intensity may diminish over time, delivering the most satisfying experience when the pod is freshly opened. Keeping the pods in their original packaging is essential, as they cannot be cleaned and should only be unsealed just before attaching them to your water bottle.

In our investigations, we noted that if the pods remained affixed to the water bottle for an extended duration without being used, the fragrance gradually faded, resulting in a milder "flavor" for the water. Given the per-pod price and the current online-exclusive availability, our experts expressed a desire for pods with a more prolonged lifespan.

Air Up Compatible Food Grade Flavor Pods and Bottles: Sipperment

Does the Air Up water bottle work?

Do Air Up water bottles deliver on their promise of transforming water into flavorful experiences? Our extensive testing process affirmed that they do indeed succeed in infusing water with the flavors of their pods. The mango-passionfruit pod, in particular, left a remarkable impression with its juicy and satisfying "flavor." However, opinions on the orange-vanilla pod varied, with some perceiving it as somewhat artificial.

As we scrutinized the data and the feedback from our testers, it became evident that individual preferences and scent perception played a significant role in shaping the experience. Scent perception is an inherently subjective realm, influenced by personal associations and the unique characteristics of each person's sense of smell. Some testers did not envision incorporating the Air Up water bottle into their daily routine after testing, while others considered it an innovative enhancement.

One tester stated, "Inhaling the scent didn't heighten the flavor for me," while another commented, "This is not just a gimmick. On days when plain water feels uninspiring, the Air Up bottle adds a layer of enjoyment to hydration." Ultimately, your interaction with Air Up is deeply intertwined with your sensory experiences.

Air Up Compatible Food Grade Flavor Pods and Bottles: Sipperment

Additional Lab and tester notes

Join us in uncovering the durability, weight, and comfort aspects of Air Up water bottles. We've conducted a thorough 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 assessed how well both materials can endure multiple drops onto hard concrete surfaces, highlighting their individual strengths and weaknesses. These real-world trials provide essential 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 options.

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 variant, are also examined.

Air Up Compatible Food Grade Flavor Pods and Bottles: Sipperment

So, is the Air Up water bottle worth it?

The Air Up water bottle begs the question: is it a worthwhile addition to your daily routine? This distinctive bottle caters to those who appreciate the taste of flavored water and find it easier to meet their hydration goals with a hint of flavor.

Stefani Sassos, M.S., R.D.N., C.S.O., C.D.N., NASM-CPT, the Nutrition Lab Director at the Good Housekeeping Institute, suggests, "Individuals who struggle with staying adequately hydrated may find this bottle beneficial, particularly those who consider plain water uninteresting." If you lead a busy life and lack the time to infuse your water with fresh ingredients, Air Up could be the solution you've been looking for.

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

Budget considerations also come into play, as regularly purchasing flavor pods can affect your finances. A three-pack of pods, which flavors approximately 3.9 gallons of water, may be a recurring expense. Nevertheless, with seven out of 11 testers recommending Air Up, it seems to have won over the majority.

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

The Air Up Phenomenon: Bridging Flavor Science and Innovative Design
Air Up: Where Flavor Science and Innovative Design Converge

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