Food scientist Professor Susan Duncan has come up with 5 'pheromeals' to tell your partner how you really feel with food on Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day on Female First

Valentine's Day on Female First

She said; "Food has a fascinating ability to influence our mood, whether physiologically or psychologically, though association with powerful memories," comments Professor Susan Duncan. "From the chili and cocoa that can stimulate and increase energy [in the Pull 'em Penne], to the sugar that can improve your mood [in the Take a Chill Pill Carbonara], you'll ensure your Valentine hears you loud and clear. Food has a fascinating ability to affect our emotions - both psychologically through association with powerful memories, or physiologically. Comfort foods often take us back to happy, secure, times and so psychologically influence the way we're feeling - we'll all be familiar with the comforting feeling a small glass of wine can bring - and that drinking too much coffee can make you feel anxious for example.

"The textures of food can put us in the right frame of mind. Smooth, velvety textures are very pleasurable. Aroma and flavour can also contribute to the romance. For example, the smooth, velvety, slippery textures of an oyster are readily associated with sensuality. Their salty, earthy, sweet flavour, which are reminiscent of the sea, might reflect intimate experiences with a partner. Our increased romantic response may be associated with the psychology of a memory triggering physiological response rather than the actual sensory experience of the food. A few foods, such as truffles, do contain compounds that are pheromones. "

"On 14th February, it's more important than ever to inject passion into your cooking," says Rachel Chambers, marketing manager for Bertolli with Butter. "You only get one day a year to get Valentine's Day dinner right and with these pasta Pheromeals there's a plate for whatever you want to say to your date."

5 Valentine's Day Pheromeals

Lustful Linguine

Featuring oysters and saffron to elicit lust

Perfect for: Getting out of the friend zone with a secret crush

You thought they'd always be out of your league, but the stars have aligned and you finally got the date you've secretly desired for months. A combination of oysters and saffron will make your intentions known and do more than excite your partner's senses. Studies have shown this pair of ingredients to boost libido and increase sexual behaviour . And with those smooth and velvety textures being heavily associated with sensuality? It won't be long until you've turned Mrs. Robinson's thoughts from dinner, to dessert.

Spaghetti Outta My House

Featuring tomatoes, full fat yogurt and red wine reduction to produce calmness

Perfect for: The Break Up

It's a story we're all familiar with. You thought your partner was a bit of a dish, but things have gone stale, and the relationship has gone well past its sell-by-date. Thanks to Spaghetti Outta My House, you've now got the perfect plate of pasta to serve for a calm parting of ways. The high-carb, low-protein content of the dish produces a calming effect which is accentuated by small amounts of wine in the sauce. Exactly what's needed when a soul needs soothing.

Pull'em Penne

Featuring cocoa and red chili peppers to generate energy and excitement

Perfect for: Sealing the deal

Everything's been going well and you've made it to date three. You know you two click, and hearts are pounding. But you're done with holding back, and it's time for those boots to get knocking. With this high energy Pull'em Penne they can, well into the night. The cocoa infused in the pasta is a well-known stimulant and the capsaicin in the chilli increases energy expenditure . Your plate might be hot, but the room's going to get even hotter.

Take a Chill Pill Carbonara

Featuring brown sugar chicken to improve mood and trigger comfort

Perfect for: Rescuing Valentine's Day from a lover's quarrel

Maybe you've forgotten to get a gift or make a reservation, and your date has been left questioning how well you really know each other. They're annoyed and there's a whole lot to make up for. If you've failed the initial Valentine's Day challenge, serve this comforting Take a Chill Pill Carbonara to help smooth things over and save the rest of the night. It is choc-full of comforting sweetness and protein, which improves your mood; and thanks to research revealing people's positive response to warm foods, the rest of your dinner conversation will hopefully be less heated.

You've Tortellini Me a Thing or Two about Love

Featuring truffles and scallops to stimulate romance

Perfect for: The proposal

It's the big one. After months of dates and dinners, you have four small words to say, although it might take you the whole night to get them out. Thanks to You've Tortellini Me a Thing or Two about Love, you have the perfect meal to make sure you get a "yes" to the big question. It's full of truffles, which have a musky scent that will get the ladies imagining a man's touch, as well as scallops, for a final aphrodisiacal push … Not that you'll need it once they've seen that ring!


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