New paper: Does Responsiveness to Basic Tastes Influence Preadolescents’ Food Liking? Investigating Taste Responsiveness Segment on Bitter-Sour-Sweet and Salty-Umami Model Food Samples
Earlier this year Ervina (ESR2) and co-workers published a study on the relationship between taste responsiveness and food liking in pre-adolescents. Taste responsiveness is one of several methods for investigating differences in taste sensitivity, i.e. that different subjects perceive the same sample as more or less intense in a specific taste, for instance sweet or sour. The objective of this study was to see if differences in taste responsiveness influence food liking. The study was conducted with pre-adolescent children as food habits are established at a young age. Model food samples of grapefruit juice (GF) and vegetable broth (VB) modified with four levels of sucrose or sodium chloride, respectively, were employed. Intensity perceptions for sweetness, sourness, and bitterness were measured in GF while saltiness and umami were measured in VB. The children (N = 148) also completed food choice, familiarity, stated liking and food neophobia questionnaires. The test was conducted at school, and due to the pandemic, instructions were given remotely via video call.
The results indicated four segments differing in basic taste responsiveness. The segments also differed in liking of GF at different sucrose concentrations, while no significant effect occurred in liking of VB at different sodium chloride concentrations. Only one of the segments increased their liking of grapefruit juice along with increasing sucrose concentration. This segment had low responsiveness to bitter and sour tastes. No significant differences across segments were found for food choice, familiarity, stated liking, and neophobia. This study shows that relations between taste responsiveness and liking depend both on the product, taste modality and individual differences (subject effects). Conclusively, strategies to improve food acceptance by using sucrose as a suppressor for warning sensations of bitterness and sourness will show different effectiveness depending on individual responsiveness to the basic tastes.
Ervina, E., Almli, V. L., Berget, I., Spinelli, S., Sick, J., & Dinnella, C. (2021). Does Responsiveness to Basic Tastes Influence Preadolescents’ Food Liking? Investigating Taste Responsiveness Segment on Bitter-Sour-Sweet and Salty-Umami Model Food Samples. Nutrients, 13(8), 2721. Retrieved from https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/13/8/2721