Burgers do taste better with gherkins, as scientists claim they improve the taste, looks and crunch

It is a debate that has divided fast food lovers for decades – do you remove the gherkins from your burger or leave them in?

Finally scientists have settled the argument once and for all, as a study reveals that the pickled green slices actually improve the taste of the sandwich.  

Oxford University food scientist Professor Charles Spence concludes that the addition of gherkins enhance the burger’s taste, appearance and texture.

The acidity of the pickled cucumber cuts through the rich umami flavour of the meat, and also adds a satisfying crunch.

This comes after a survey by Professor Spence revealed that 51 per cent of Britons opt to remove the baby cucumber from their bun. 

Researchers from Oxford University have concluded that the addition of gherkins enhance the burger’s taste, looks and texture.

Professor Charles Spence, a Food Scientist and Experimental Psychologist, reported that gherkins increase the 'oral-somatosensory experience' of eating a burger.

Professor Charles Spence, a Food Scientist and Experimental Psychologist, reported that gherkins increase the ‘oral-somatosensory experience’ of eating a burger.

WHY DO GHERKINS MAKE BURGERS TASTE BETTER? 

Professor Charles Spence claims that the acidity of gherkins helps cut through to the savoury burger notes.

The texture of pickles also contrasts with the rest of the burger ingredients resulting in a more appealing bite.

A pop of green amongst the brown and beige also makes the burger look more attractive – and the first bite of any meal is always with the eyes. 

The mighty crunch the gherkin adds to a bite also helps to draw attention to the mouth, making the eating experience more satisfying.

The question of whether gherkins are an essential part of the perfect burger has been a hotly debated topic in the food world for years – along with the contentious ‘pineapple on pizza’ argument.

Professor Spence’s report highlights a number of reasons why adding gherkins increases the ‘oral-somatosensory experience’ of eating a burger.

‘Pickles are undoubtedly one of the most contentious additions to a burger, with the population seemingly split right down in the middle into lovers and haters,’ he explained.

‘But what exactly is it about burgers that make them addictive to some but abhorrent to others?

‘The evidence suggests different sensory elements – the sight, sound, texture, taste, and smell – all play different roles for different consumers, but, ultimately, keeping pickles in your burger is the best way to optimise their taste.

‘Their sensory properties compliment the other burger ingredients perfectly.’

This contradicts the results of a survey also conducted by Professor Spence, in which over half of the participants said they would choose to remove the pickled cucumber. 

The most common reason for this decision was that they don’t like the taste, cited by 23 per cent of survey takers.

Another 16 per cent don’t enjoy the vegetable’s texture, and 4 per cent said they’ve never tried pickles but don’t like the idea of them.

A minority of 12 per cent even said they do like the baby cucumbers, but would rather eat them on their own. 

Professor Spence claims that the acidity of the gherkins helps cut through to the rich umami - or savoury - burger notes, and helps balance out contrasting flavours.

Professor Spence claims that the acidity of the gherkins helps cut through to the rich umami – or savoury – burger notes, and helps balance out contrasting flavours.

A survey has revealed that 51 per cent of Britons opt to remove the baby cucumber from their burger bun, citing their flavour and texture as the main reasons for their aversion

A survey has revealed that 51 per cent of Britons opt to remove the baby cucumber from their burger bun, citing their flavour and texture as the main reasons for their aversion

Those aged 35-54 were the demographic most in favour of their addition, with 37 per cent saying they would prefer a burger with them inside.

Young people aged between 18 and 24 were the least likely to want them included.

In his report, published yesterday, Professor Spence claims that the acidity of the gherkins helps cut through to the rich umami – or savoury – burger notes, and balance out contrasting flavours.

The texture of pickles also nicely contrasts with the rest of the burger ingredients resulting in a more appealing ‘bite’.

A pop of green amongst the brown and beige also makes the burger look more attractive – and the first bite of any meal is always with the eyes.

The professor also concluded that the mighty crunch the gherkin adds to a bite helps to draw attention to the mouth, making the eating experience more satisfying.

The Bob's Burgers Movie follows Bob and Linda as they try to keep their business afloat after a sinkhole appears in front of their fast food restaurant

The Bob’s Burgers Movie follows Bob and Linda as they try to keep their business afloat after a sinkhole appears in front of their fast food restaurant

The character of Bob originally appeared in the animated TV series Bob's Burgers, and adds gherkins to his hamburgers

The character of Bob originally appeared in the animated TV series Bob’s Burgers, and adds gherkins to his hamburgers

Professor Spence researched published articles discussing flavour matching, sour preferences and the benefits of crunch to come to his conclusions in his reports.

The research was commissioned by 20th Century Studios ahead of the release of The Bob’s Burgers Movie on Friday.

Professor Spence added: ‘There is no ‘right or wrong’ way to eat a burger, however keeping pickles inside your burger is the best way to get the full potential out of every bite.’

WHAT DO BRITS THINK ABOUT GHERKINS? 

A survey conducted by Oxford University researchers found that 51 per cent of participants said they would choose to remove gherkins from their burger. 

The most common reason for this decision was that they don’t like the taste, cited by 23 per cent of survey takers.

Another 16 per cent don’t enjoy the vegetable’s texture, and 4 per cent said they’ve never tried pickles but don’t like the idea of them.

A minority of 12 per cent even said they do like the baby cucumbers, but would rather eat them on their own. 

Those aged 35-54 were the demographic most in favour of their addition, with 37 per cent saying they would prefer a burger with them inside.

Young people aged between 18 and 24 were the least likely to want them included.