Individually Modified Saliva Delivery Changes the Perceived Intensity of Saltiness and Sourness

C.I. Heinzerling, M.A. Stieger, J.H.F. Bult, B. Smit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Individuals vary largely in their salivary flow and composition, and given the importance of saliva on perception of taste, this might influence how the tastant stimuli are perceived. We therefore hypothesise that altering the individual salivary flow rates has an impact on the perceived taste intensity. In this study, we investigated the role of saliva amount on the perceived taste intensity by excluding parotid saliva and adding artificial saliva close to the parotid duct at preset flow rates. Significant decreases in perception with increasing salivary flow rates were observed for citric acid and sodium chloride. This can partially be explained by a dilution effect which is in line with previous studies on detectable concentration differences. However, since the bitterness and sweetness remained unaffected by the salivary flow conditions and the dilution effect was comparable to that of saltiness, further explanation is needed. Furthermore, we investigated whether the suppression of taste intensity in binary mixtures (taste–taste interactions) could possibly be caused by the increased salivary flow rate induced by an additional taste attribute. The results show, however, that suppression of taste intensity in binary mixtures was not affected by the rate of salivation. This was more likely to be explained by psychophysics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-153
JournalChemosensory Perception
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • flow-rate
  • taste sensitivity
  • alpha-amylase
  • perception
  • secretion
  • stimuli
  • texture
  • starch
  • acids
  • ph

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