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Dessert Taste Study


Perception of fat taste, aroma, and texture are proposed to influence food preferences, thus shaping dietary intake and eating behaviour and consequently long-term health. In this study, we investigated associations between fatty acid taste, olfaction, mouthfeel of fat, dietary intake, eating behaviour, and body mass index (BMI).


Fifty women attended three sessions to assess oleic acid taste and olfaction thresholds, the olfactory threshold for n-butanol and subjective mouthfeel ratings of custard samples. Dietary intake and eating behaviour were evaluated using a Food Frequency and Three-Factor Eating Questionnaire, respectively. Binomial regression analysis was used to model fat taste and olfaction data.


Taste and olfactory detection for oleic acid were positively correlated (r = 0.325; p < 0.02). Oleic acid taste hypersensitive women had significantly increased n-butanol olfactory sensitivity (p < 0.03). The eating behaviour disinhibition and BMI were higher in women who were hyposensitive to oleic acid taste (p < 0.05). Dietary intake of nuts, nut spreads, and seeds were significantly correlated with high olfactory sensitivity to oleic acid (p < 0.01).


These findings demonstrate a clear link between fatty acid taste sensitivity and olfaction and suggest that fat taste perception is associated with specific characteristics of eating behaviour and body composition.

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