Document Detail

Relationships between threshold-based PROP sensitivity and food preferences of Tunisians.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12354685     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The extent to which taste responses--and notably the genetically determined sensitivity to 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP)--influences food preferences and food use is still a matter of debate. We addressed the issue on the basis of a behavioural and anthropological study performed in Tunis in 1999. The working sample consists of 123 adults of both sexes (38 men, 85 women), aged 19-59, in various social categories. Taste recognition thresholds for sucrose, fructose, sodium chloride, quinine hydrochloride, citric acid, tannic acid, oak tannin and PROP were determined by presenting, in a semi-randomised order (blind-test), series of graded aqueous solutions of each product. Subjects also tasted and rated the pleasantness/unpleasantness of 4 supra-threshold solutions of NaCl and sucrose. All subjects completed a checklist of 43 food items representative of Tunisian diet, rated in terms of flavour, cost, effect on health and prestige on a labelled affective magnitude scale. According to the underlying distribution of PROP thresholds, the subjects were separated into three categories: "non-tasters", "medium-threshold tasters", and "low-threshold tasters". Results bring out the specificity of low-threshold tasters, as exhibiting a greater taste sensitivity for most tested substances. Low-threshold taster status is also linked to higher mean food preferences ratings irrespective of sex, age and socio-cultural influences. Tasters as a group (medium-threshold tasters + low-threshold tasters) do not exhibit a higher percentage of food dislikes; however PROP sensitivity is negatively correlated with hedonic responses to NaCl solutions. These results together with the evidence of a limited set of food actually used by low-threshold tasters suggest that these subjects might have difficulties at overcoming an inherent neophobia.
P Pasquet; B Oberti; J El Ati; C M Hladik
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Appetite     Volume:  39     ISSN:  0195-6663     ISO Abbreviation:  Appetite     Publication Date:  2002 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-09-30     Completed Date:  2003-02-06     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8006808     Medline TA:  Appetite     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  167-73     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd.
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, France.
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MeSH Terms
Food Preferences / physiology*,  psychology
Middle Aged
Sodium Chloride
Taste / physiology*
Taste Threshold / physiology*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Solutions; 51-52-5/Propylthiouracil; 57-50-1/Sucrose; 7647-14-5/Sodium Chloride

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