food-pics: A database of free images of food for experimental research
Together with Adrian Meule, Kathrin Ohla and Niko Busch, I developed a freely available database of food images and associated normative data for the study of eating and appetite.
Much research in this field is relying on visual stimulation with food images using methods such as EEG, MEG and fMRI. These neurocognitive methods are sensitive to visual properties such as complexity, brightness, contrast, etc of the images. Likewise, food composition is now understood to modulate neural responses. Therefore, we included data on calories and nutrients in the image database. Also subjective evaluations such as liking (palatability) and wanting (desire to eat) are important parameters that vary with age, body weight, gender and culture. To facilitate informed decisions during selection of food images we provide normative subjective rating data for European and North-american populations of different age ranges, BMI classes and gender.
Food.pics contains 568 photos (plus 328 in the extended set, see below) displaying food items with simple figure-ground composition, including sweet and tasty foods, high and low calorie, warm and cold dishes, processed and raw foods. It also contains comparable non-food images (n=314). The following attributes are specified for each food picture:
- Nutrients: mg of protein, fat & carbohydrates, kcal
- Rating data (palatability, desire to eat, complexity, recognizability, valence, arousal by almost 2000 participants from German speaking countries and North America)
- Image properties: R/G/B values, brightness, contrast, complexity (edge detection), luminance, spectral power, Matlab scripts here.
We provide the data base free of charge on the basis of a license agreement completed by the supervisor/PI/Professor of a work group using the pics. He/she would be responsible for the use of the food-pics in the work group in keeping with the licence agreement. This is relevant for issues such as storage on shared network spaces, instruction of present and incoming students regarding licence content.
To gain access click here (registration, license, download).
Reference and Citation:
Blechert J, Meule A, Busch NA and Ohla K (2014). Food-pics: an image database for experimental research on eating and appetite. Front. Psychol. 5:617. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00617.
Example method section describing the use of food pics can be found here
As some users have expressed interest in an extension of the database to include a more international selection of images, we asked our users to contribute to food-pics. Several colleagues (listed below) did so, thanks for your openness and support!
By using their
copy right free images and by editing and standardizing them we were able to
extend food-pics by further 328 images. These are at your disposition now with associated
image properties like color, size, contrast and complexity (further image
parameters will possibly follow in future) under the old licence. Of
course again with the request to cite us and and to spread the word.
To gain access click here
Many thanks to our food-pics_extended contributors:
Loïc P. Heurley, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, Nanterre, France
Jang-Han Lee, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea
Gal Sheppes, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
Loukia Tzavella, Cardiff University, Wales, UK
Olga Pollatos, Universität Ulm, Ulm, Germany
Vaibhav Tyagi, Plymouth University, Devon, UK