Odors: appetizing or satiating? Development of appetite during odor exposure over time

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Background: Exposure to palatable food odors influences appetite responses, either promoting or inhibiting food intake. Possibly, food odors are appetizing after a short exposure (of circa 1–3¿min), but become satiating over time (circa 10–20¿min). Objective: To investigate the effect of odor exposure on general appetite and sensory-specific appetite (SSA) over time. Design: In a cross-over study, 21 unrestrained women (age: 18–45 years; BMI: 18.5–25¿kg¿m-2) were exposed for 20¿min to eight different odor types: five food odors, two nonfood odors and no-odor. All odors were distributed in a test room at suprathreshold levels. General appetite, SSA and salivation were measured over time. Results: All food odors significantly increased general appetite and SSA, compared with the no-odor condition. The nonfood odors decreased general appetite. All effects did not change over time during odor exposure. Savory odors increased the appetite for savory foods, but decreased appetite for sweet foods, and vice versa after exposure to sweet odors. Neither food odors nor nonfood odors affected salivation. Conclusions: Palatable food odors were appetizing during and after odor exposure and did not become satiating over a 20-min period. Food odors had a large impact on SSA and a small impact on general appetite. Moreover, exposure to food odors increased the appetite for congruent foods, but decreased the appetite for incongruent foods. It may be hypothesized that, once the body is prepared for intake of a certain food with a particular macronutrient composition, it is unfavorable to consume foods that are very different from the cued food.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)650-656
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • sensory-specific satiety
  • cephalic phase responses
  • food-cue exposure
  • dietary restraint
  • chewing gum
  • perception
  • humans
  • stimuli
  • flavor
  • meal


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