Taste Perception with Age: Generic or Specific Losses in Supra-threshold Intensities of Five Taste Qualities?

J. Mojet, J. Heidema, E. Christ-Hazelhof

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    144 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The influence of ageing on supra-threshold intensity perception of NaCl, KCl, sucrose, aspartame, acetic acid, citric acid, caffeine, quinine HCl, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and inosine 5'-monophosphate (IMP) dissolved in water and in `regular' product was studied in 21 young (19¿33 years) and 21 elderly (60¿75 years) persons. While the relative perception (intensity discrimination) seems to be remarkably resistant to the effect of ageing, the absolute perception (intensity rating) decreased with age for all tastants in water, but only for the salty and sweet tastants in product. When assessed while wearing a nose clip, only the perception of salty tastants was diminished with age. The slopes of the psychophysical functions were flatter in the elderly than in the young for the sweet, bitter and umami tastants in water, and for the sour tastants in product only. The age effects found were almost exclusively generic and never compound-specific within a taste. This study indicates that the relevance of determining intensities of tastants dissolved in water for the `real life' perception of taste in complex food is rather limited.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)397-413
    JournalChemical Senses
    Volume28
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2003

    Keywords

    • elderly persons
    • sucrose
    • young
    • sensitivity
    • preferences
    • threshold
    • magnitude
    • caffeine
    • flavor
    • adults

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