Document Detail

Opponency of astringent and fat sensations.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23058798     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
In most cultures, people ingest a variety of astringent foods and beverages during meals, but the reasons for this practice are unclear. Many popular beliefs and heuristics, such as high tannin wines should be balanced with fatty foods, for example 'red wine with red meat', suggest that astringents such as pickles, sorbets, wines, and teas 'cleanse' the palate while eating. Oral astringents elicit 'dry, rough' sensations [1], in part, by breaking down mucinous lubricating proteins in saliva [2,3]. The introduction of oral lubricants, including fats, partially diminishes strong astringent sensations [4,5]. Thus, it appears that astringency and fattiness can oppose each other perceptually on an oral rheological spectrum. Most teas, wines, and 'palate cleansers', however, are only mildly astringent and an explanation of how they could oppose the fattiness of meals is lacking. Here, we demonstrate that weakly astringent stimuli can elicit strong sensations after repeated sampling. Astringency builds with exposures [6] to an asymptotic level determined by the structure and concentration of the compound. We also establish that multiple sips of a mild astringent solution, similar to a wine or tea, decrease oral fat sensations elicited by fatty food consumption when astringent and fatty stimuli alternate, mimicking the patterning that occurs during a real meal. Consequently, we reveal a principle underlying the international practice of 'palate cleansing'. Repeatedly alternating samples of astringent beverages with fatty foods yielded ratings of fattiness and astringency that were lower than if rinsing with water or if presented alone without alternation.
Catherine Peyrot des Gachons; Emi Mura; Camille Speziale; Charlotte J Favreau; Guillaume F Dubreuil; Paul A S Breslin
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Letter    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Current biology : CB     Volume:  22     ISSN:  1879-0445     ISO Abbreviation:  Curr. Biol.     Publication Date:  2012 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-10-12     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9107782     Medline TA:  Curr Biol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  R829-30     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
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