Acquired hedonic and sensory characteristics of odours: Influence of sweet liker and propylthiouracil taster status

Yeomans, Martin, Prescott, John and Gould, Natalie (2009) Acquired hedonic and sensory characteristics of odours: Influence of sweet liker and propylthiouracil taster status. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 62 (8). pp. 1648-1664. ISSN 1747-0218

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Abstract

Repeated pairings of novel food-related odours with sweet tastes can result in enduring changes in sweetness of the odour alone, but have less consistent effects on odour liking. Variation in ability to taste propylthiouracil (PROP) might account for this, since PROP supertasters (ST) have been reported both to experience stronger sweetness intensity and to be more likely to dislike sweetness than do PROP nontasters (NT). Alternatively, individual differences in liking for sweetness may transfer to sweet-paired odours independently of PROP sensitivity. To explore this, evaluations of sucrose, saccharin, and PROP solutions were used to classify 92 volunteers as either sweet likers or dislikers and as PROP ST, NT, or medium tasters (MT). Changes in pleasantness of odours that had been paired with the taste of saccharin increased in sweet likers but decreased in dislikers. Odour sweetness increased regardless of PROP taster or sweet liker status. PROP ST rated saccharin as more bitter than did other taster groups and also showed greater increases in acquired bitterness of the saccharin-paired odour. Overall, these data suggest that individual differences in evaluation of saccharin reliably predict subsequent changes in evaluation of saccharin-paired odours, with hedonic changes corresponding with liking for sweet tastes and sensory changes reflecting differences in sensory quality between PROP taster groups.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Martin Yeomans
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:33
Last Modified: 12 Mar 2012 16:56
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/13216
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