Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Davis, California » Western Human Nutrition Research Center » Obesity and Metabolism Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #314967

Research Project: Improving Public Health by Understanding Diversity in Diet, Body, and Brain Interactions

Location: Obesity and Metabolism Research

Title: Does mere exposure mediate sensitivity to bitter taste on consumer liking and acceptability of whole grain foods?

Author
item De Leon, Angela
item Giovanni, Maria - California State University
item Horn, William
item Burnett, Dustin - University Of California
item Keim, Nancy

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/1/2015
Publication Date: 3/28/2015
Citation: De Leon, A., Giovanni, M., Horn, W.F., Burnett, D., Keim, N.L. 2015. Does mere exposure mediate sensitivity to bitter taste on consumer liking and acceptability of whole grain foods?. Meeting Abstract. Experimental Biology 2015, Boston, MA March 28 – April 1, 2015.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Health benefits of whole grains (WG) are well known, yet consumption by Americans falls far short of recommended amounts. Roughly 75% of Americans are sensitive to bitter taste, and WG are known to contain bitter tasting phenolic compounds. It has been reported that individuals with the highest sensitivity, supertasters, prefer refined grain (RG) bread over WG. Other research has shown that with repeated exposure, initially less liked foods ultimately achieve higher acceptance. We aimed to determine the combined effects of bitter taste sensitivity and exposure to WG in individuals who were self-identified low WG consumers. Healthy adults were provided market baskets of WG or equivalent RG products for daily use over 6 wk. Sensory evaluation (SE) of WG and RG products was conducted pre- and post-intervention using standard taste panel procedures. Scores for overall liking increased (p<0.02) in non-tasters and supertasters from baseline to 6wk, independent of group assignment or grain type of SE food. These shifts were greater in supertasters, who gave lower overall liking scores (p<0.005) than persons in other taster categories. Supertasters in the WG group were significantly more willing to include SE foods in the diet at 6 wk than supertasters in the RG group (p<0.012). This suggests that while bitter taste sensitivity may influence consumption of WG, with repeated exposure, liking and acceptability can increase.