As taste perception varies between individuals, it might be important in explaining food consumption behavior. Previous studies have focused on sensitivity to the bitter tastant PROP (6-n-propylthiouracil) concerning eating with little attention paid to other tastants. For the first time, connections between food consumption behavior, pleasantness, and taste sensitivity are studied with five taste modalities. Sensitivity to bitterness, sourness, umami, saltiness, and sweetness as well as an overall taste sensitivity score was determined with intensity evaluation for 199 Finnish adults. Recalled pleasantness and food consumption behavior were enquired with online questionnaires. Consumption concerned intake of vegetables, fruits, and berries; use-frequency of specific foods; and tendency to mask or modify tastes of foods. All modality-specific taste sensitivities were related to some consumption behavior but none to recalled pleasantness. A higher taste sensitivity score indicated avoidance of coffee, lower consumption of pungent foods, and a more frequent habit of adding ketchup to a meal. In conclusion, it may be more informative to study the influence of taste sensitivity on food consumption behavior with taste modalities separately rather than with a general indicator of taste sensitivity. Additionally, these results highlight the importance of studying actual behavior toward food and not just liking.
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