Sweet and sour preferences in young children and adults: role of repeated exposure

D.G. Liem, C. de Graaf

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159 Citations (Scopus)


The authors investigated the influence of repeated exposure to orangeades with added sucrose and different concentrations of citric acid, on the taste preferences of 6- to-11-year-old children and young adults. During an intervention study of 8 days, 59 children (9.2±0.9 years) and 46 young adults (22±2.0 years) received, each day, either an orangeade with a sweet taste, a sour taste, or no orangeade (control). Before (baseline) and after the intervention, preferences for a series of orangeades and yoghurt, which varied in balance of sweet and sour tastes, were measured by means of a rank-ordering procedure. The variation in balance of sweet and sour taste was established by adding different amounts of citric acid (orangeade: 0.009, 0.013, 0.020, 0.029, 0.043, and 0.065 M added citric acid; yoghurt: 0.027, 0.038, 0.056, 0.081, 0.12, and 0.17 M added citric acid) to a stock orangeade and yoghurt with 0.42 M sucrose. The sweet and sour tasting orangeade that were consumed during the intervention were equally preferred at baseline. After an 8-day exposure to the sweet orangeade, children's preferences for this orangeade (0.42 M sucrose) significantly increased (p
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-429
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • food preferences
  • childhood obesity
  • acceptance
  • humans
  • consumption
  • taste
  • selection
  • sugar
  • fruit
  • age


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