4th Annual Meeting of the International Multisensory Research Forum
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Virginia Utermohlen

Taste, smell, and flavor intensity are influenced by sensitivity to 6-n-propylthiouracil
Single Paper Presentation

Virginia Utermohlen
Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University

David Bauer
Cornell University

     Abstract ID Number: 96
     Full text: Not available
     Last modified: May 20, 2003

College students (n=126) were classified as highly sensitive, moderately sensitive, and mildly sensitive tasters, using their ratings of the intensity of the taste of three concentrations of an odorless compound, 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) (3.2 x 10-4 M, 1.0 x 10-3 M, and 3.2 x 10-3 M). These subjects also rated the intensity of the smell of five natural extracts (lime, lemon, orange, mint, and vanilla), and of the taste of these extracts with nose plugged (taste condition) and unplugged (flavor condition). They also rated the smell intensity of solutions of a series of other odorants (coffee, butterscotch, butter, chocolate, mint, banana, apple, strawberry, anise, rose, heliotrope, jasmine). Highly sensitive tasters of PROP found the taste, smell and flavor of the extracts, and the odors of many, though not all, the odorants, significantly more intense than did the other groups; mildly sensitive tasters found these substances to be the least intense by each sensory modality, with moderately sensitive tasters giving intermediate ratings. Self-reported sensitivity to PROP probably reflects a complex function of the brain linking taste and smell, rather than the simple presence or absence of receptors for PROP and related compounds on the tongue.

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