Prenatal Flavor Exposure Affects Flavor Recognition and Stress-Related Behavior of Piglets

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Exposure to flavors in the amniotic fluid and mother's milk derived from the maternal diet has been shown to modulate food preferences and neophobia of young animals of several species. Aim of the experiment was to study the effects of pre- and postnatal flavor exposure on behavior of piglets during (re)exposure to this flavor. Furthermore, we investigated whether varying stress levels, caused by different test settings, affected behavior of animals during (re)exposure. Piglets were exposed to anisic flavor through the maternal diet during late gestation and/or during lactation or never. Piglets that were prenatally exposed to the flavor through the maternal diet behaved differently compared with unexposed pigs during reexposure to the flavor in several tests, suggesting recognition of the flavor. The differences between groups were more pronounced in tests with relatively high stress levels. This suggests that stress levels, caused by the design of the test, can affect the behavior shown in the presence of the flavor. We conclude that prenatal flavor exposure affects behaviors of piglets that are indicative of recognition and that these behaviors are influenced by stress levels during (re)exposure
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-787
JournalChemical Senses
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • feeding preferences
  • amniotic-fluid
  • mothers diet
  • domestic dog
  • odor
  • pigs
  • fetal
  • milk
  • alters
  • ingestion

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