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Implications of Taste and Olfaction in Nutrition and Health

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Nutrition and Public Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2022) | Viewed by 74267

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cagliari, 09124 Cagliari, CA, Italy
Interests: taste perception and individual differences; PROP tasting; taste genetics; taste modulation; electrophysiological recordings from human tongue; taste and health
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cagliari, 09124 Monserrato, CA, Italy
Interests: taste perception; PROP tasting; individual differences; taste perception modulation; electrophysiological recordings; taste; body composition; nutrition; health
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
Interests: taste perception; olfactory perception; insect-host plant interaction; electrophysiological recordings; chemosensory input and behavioral output; food choices and food intake; transduction mechanisms of chemosensory systems
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Taste and olfaction are sensory modalities that act synergistically to orchestrate behaviours essential for survival, such as interactions with the environment, nutrient-rich food identification, and avoidance of noxious substances. Olfaction participates in long-range recognition, while taste mediates short-range detection and it the final mediator between acceptance or rejection. Taste and olfaction are fundamental determinants driving food preferences and therefore diet, nutrition, and health. Chemosensory perception plays important roles also in various extra-oral tissues where it mediates diverse physiological functions, the variations of which are associated with several human disorders. Critical investigation on how chemicals are detected at the periphery and how the information is conveyed and integrated at central level could shed additional light on processes such as food intake regulation, eating behaviour, and physio-pathological mechanisms. For this Special Issue on “Implications of Taste and Olfaction in Nutrition and Health,” we invite original research articles and comprehensive reviews that focus on taste and olfactory perception, food preferences, and their implications in nutrition and/or health outcomes.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • the molecular basis of taste and olfactory perception;
  • how pathological conditions, medical treatments, aging processes, or microbiota  affect taste and olfactory perception, eating behavior, or health;
  • physiological factors that impact taste and olfactory perception and food preferences in humans and clinical and pre-clinical models;
  • the genetic factors involved in taste and olfactory perception.

Dr. Melania Melis
Prof. Dr. Iole Tomassini Barbarossa
Prof. Dr. Giorgia Sollai
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • taste
  • smell
  • eating behavior
  • taste preferences
  • sensory nutrition
  • peripheral and central taste/smell processing
  • genetic variations in taste/smell
  • oral and retronasal processing
  • taste and smell changes related to adiposity/obesity/pathology

Published Papers (21 papers)

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Editorial

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7 pages, 232 KiB  
Editorial
The Implications of Taste and Olfaction in Nutrition and Health
by Melania Melis, Iole Tomassini Barbarossa and Giorgia Sollai
Nutrients 2023, 15(15), 3412; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15153412 - 31 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1314
Abstract
Taste and olfaction are sensory modalities that act synergistically to orchestrate the behaviors essential for survival, such as interactions with the environment, nutrient-rich food identification, and the avoidance of noxious substances [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implications of Taste and Olfaction in Nutrition and Health)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

13 pages, 1864 KiB  
Article
Olfactory Sensitivity Is Associated with Body Mass Index and Polymorphism in the Voltage-Gated Potassium Channels Kv1.3
by Melania Melis, Iole Tomassini Barbarossa, Roberto Crnjar and Giorgia Sollai
Nutrients 2022, 14(23), 4986; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14234986 - 24 Nov 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1620
Abstract
Smell strongly contributes to food choice and its hedonistic evaluation. A reduction or loss of smell has been related to malnutrition problems, resulting in excessive weight loss or gain. Voltage-gated potassium channels Kv1.3 are widely expressed in the olfactory bulb, and contribute mainly [...] Read more.
Smell strongly contributes to food choice and its hedonistic evaluation. A reduction or loss of smell has been related to malnutrition problems, resulting in excessive weight loss or gain. Voltage-gated potassium channels Kv1.3 are widely expressed in the olfactory bulb, and contribute mainly to the value of the resting membrane potential and to the frequency of action potentials. Mutations in the Kv1.3 gene are associated with alterations in glycemic homeostasis and olfactory sensitivity. We evaluated the olfactory performance in 102 healthy subjects and its association with BMI and polymorphism in the human Kv1.3 gene. Olfactory performance, based on the olfactory threshold, discrimination and identification scores and their summed score (TDI), was measured using the “Sniffin’ Sticks” test. Subjects were genotyped for the rs2821557 polymorphism of the Kv1.3 gene, whose major allele T was associated with a super-smeller phenotype, lower plasma glucose levels and resistance to diet-induced obesity as compared with the minor allele C. Based on the Kv1.3 genotype, the TDI and I olfactory scores obtained by the subjects were the following: TT > TC > CC. Subjects who were TT homozygous or heterozygous exhibited lower BMIs and reached higher olfactory scores than those with the CC genotype. The results were sex-dependent: heterozygous females performed better than heterozygous males. These findings show an inverse relationship between olfactory function and BMI, and a significant effect of the Kv1.3 genotypes on the olfactory functions and on the BMIs of the subjects. Finally, they suggest that the sex-related differences in the olfactory function can be partially ascribed to the Kv1.3 gene’s polymorphism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implications of Taste and Olfaction in Nutrition and Health)
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17 pages, 1320 KiB  
Article
Associations between Sweet Taste Sensitivity and Polymorphisms (SNPs) in the TAS1R2 and TAS1R3 Genes, Gender, PROP Taster Status, and Density of Fungiform Papillae in a Genetically Homogeneous Sardinian Cohort
by Melania Melis, Mariano Mastinu, Lala Chaimae Naciri, Patrizia Muroni and Iole Tomassini Barbarossa
Nutrients 2022, 14(22), 4903; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14224903 - 19 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1744
Abstract
Individual differences in sweet taste sensitivity can affect dietary preferences as well as nutritional status. Despite the lack of consensus, it is believed that sweet taste is impacted by genetic and environmental variables. Here we determined the effect of well-established factors influencing the [...] Read more.
Individual differences in sweet taste sensitivity can affect dietary preferences as well as nutritional status. Despite the lack of consensus, it is believed that sweet taste is impacted by genetic and environmental variables. Here we determined the effect of well-established factors influencing the general taste variability, such as gender and fungiform papillae density, specific genetic variants (SNPs of TAS1R2 and TAS1R3 receptors genes), and non-specific genetic factors (PROP phenotype and genotype), on the threshold and suprathreshold sweet taste sensitivity. Suprathreshold measurements showed that the sweet taste response increased in a dose-dependent manner, and this was related to PROP phenotype, gender, rs35874116 SNP in the TAS1R2 gene, and rs307355 SNP in the TAS1R3 gene. The threshold values and density of fungiform papillae exhibited a strong correlation, and both varied according to PROP phenotype. Our data confirm the role of PROP taste status in the sweet perception related to fungiform papilla density, show a higher sweet sensitivity in females who had lower BMI than males, and demonstrate for the first time the involvement of the rs35874116 SNP of TAS1R2 in the sweet taste sensitivity of normal weight subjects with body mass index (BMI) ranging from 20.2 to 24.8 kg/m2. These results may have an important impact on nutrition and health mostly in subjects with low taste ability for sweets and thus with high vulnerability to developing obesity or metabolic disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implications of Taste and Olfaction in Nutrition and Health)
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13 pages, 1266 KiB  
Article
Subjective-Physiological Coherence during Food Consumption in Older Adults
by Akie Saito, Wataru Sato, Akira Ikegami, Sayaka Ishihara, Makoto Nakauma, Takahiro Funami, Tohru Fushiki and Sakiko Yoshikawa
Nutrients 2022, 14(22), 4736; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14224736 - 09 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1086
Abstract
Background: Subjective-physiological emotional coherence is thought to be associated with enhanced well-being, and a relationship between subjective-physiological emotional coherence and superior nutritional status has been suggested in older populations. However, no study has examined subjective-physiological emotional coherence among older adults while tasting food. [...] Read more.
Background: Subjective-physiological emotional coherence is thought to be associated with enhanced well-being, and a relationship between subjective-physiological emotional coherence and superior nutritional status has been suggested in older populations. However, no study has examined subjective-physiological emotional coherence among older adults while tasting food. Accordingly, the present study compared subjective-physiological emotional coherence during food consumption among older and younger adults. Methods: Participants consumed bite-sized gel-type foods with different flavors and provided their subjective ratings of the foods while their physiological responses (facial electromyography (EMG) of the corrugator supercilia, masseter, and suprahyoid, and other autonomic nervous system signals) were simultaneously measured. Results: Our primary findings were that (1) the ratings of liking, wanting, and valence were negatively correlated with corrugator EMG activity in older and young adult participants; (2) the positive association between masseter EMG activity and ratings of wanting/valence was weaker in the older than in the young adult group; and (3) arousal ratings were negatively correlated with corrugator EMG activity in the older group only. Conclusions: These results demonstrate commonalities and differences in subjective-physiological emotional coherence during food intake between older and young adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implications of Taste and Olfaction in Nutrition and Health)
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15 pages, 1053 KiB  
Article
Prenatal Caffeine Exposure Is Linked to Elevated Sugar Intake and BMI, Altered Reward Sensitivity, and Aberrant Insular Thickness in Adolescents: An ABCD Investigation
by Khushbu Agarwal, Peter Manza, Hugo A. Tejeda, Amber B. Courville, Nora D. Volkow and Paule V. Joseph
Nutrients 2022, 14(21), 4643; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14214643 - 03 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2462
Abstract
Prenatal caffeine exposure (PCE) has been positively associated with elevated body mass index (BMI) in children. Why this association occurs is unclear, but it is possible that PCE alters the in utero development of brain structures associated with food preference, leading to more [...] Read more.
Prenatal caffeine exposure (PCE) has been positively associated with elevated body mass index (BMI) in children. Why this association occurs is unclear, but it is possible that PCE alters the in utero development of brain structures associated with food preference, leading to more total sugar intake (TSI, grams) later in childhood. To test this hypothesis, we investigated if PCE (daily/weekly/<weekly vs. no exposure) and elevated BMI are associated with increased TSI, neural activation during large reward anticipation (monetary incentive delay task—functional MRI) and structural changes (thickness, mm) in taste processing regions of children (n = 5534; 9–11 years) from the large-scale Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. Linear mixed-effect models, after covariate adjustments, identified a positive association (p < 0.05, all |βs| > 0.01) of excessive PCE (vs. no exposure) with elevated BMI (daily/weekly/daily limit; consistent in boys and girls), increased TSI (daily) and insular thickness (daily/weekly), as well as low middle frontal cortex (MFC) activation (daily). Our sub-analysis revealed an association of daily/weekly PCE (vs. no exposure) with increased gram sugar intake from soft drinks. We also identified a positive relationship of excessive PCE with elevated TSI and increased insular thickness (a key gustatory region), while in a Sobel test, reward sensitivity (reduced brain reactivity to reward anticipation in MFC; tracks reward outcomes) mediated (Test statistic = 2.23; p = 0.02) the PCE-linked BMI changes in adolescents. Our findings suggest that excessive PCE might be detrimental to frontal lobe development and altered reward sensitivity to food, thereby increasing risk for elevated TSI and obesity. Our results support recommendations to limit caffeine intake during pregnancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implications of Taste and Olfaction in Nutrition and Health)
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13 pages, 1193 KiB  
Article
Body Fat Moderates the Association of Olfactory Dysfunction with Dietary Intake in U.S. Middle-Aged and Older Adults: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of NHANES 2013–2014
by Surabhi Bhutani and Amanda C. McClain
Nutrients 2022, 14(15), 3178; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14153178 - 02 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2076
Abstract
Background: Obesity relates to impaired olfactory function. Abnormal olfactory function is also associated with poor diet; however, whether obesity-related markers shape this relationship is unknown. Methods: Cross-sectional analysis (n = 1415, age > 40 years) of NHANES 2013–2014 examined body fat percent [...] Read more.
Background: Obesity relates to impaired olfactory function. Abnormal olfactory function is also associated with poor diet; however, whether obesity-related markers shape this relationship is unknown. Methods: Cross-sectional analysis (n = 1415, age > 40 years) of NHANES 2013–2014 examined body fat percent (BF%) and waist circumference (WC) as moderators of the relationship between olfactory function and diet. The olfactory function test identified adults with olfactory dysfunction (OD) or normal olfaction (NO). Validated 24 h recall captured nutrient intake and Healthy Eating Index-2010 scores. BF% and WC were measured. We tested adjusted linear regression models, with an interaction term between olfactory function and BF%/WC, for each nutrient or HEI score, and reported coefficients (β), standard errors (SE), and p-values for significant interaction terms. Results: In OD (9.5%; mean age 50.9 years, 95% CI 49.6, 52.2) compared with NO (mean age 49.3 years, 95% CI 48.8, 49.9), higher BF% was associated with higher intake of saturated fat (β (SE): 0.2 (0.1) g; p = 0.06) and percent of total calories from total fat (0.2 (0.1); p = 0.07), saturated (0.1 (0.004); p = 0.02), and monounsaturated fat (0.1 (0.1); p = 0.08); lower percent of total calories from carbohydrates (−0.2 (0.1); p = 0.09) and mg of sodium (−17.8 (09.6); p = 0.08); and a higher (healthier) refined grain score (0.1 (0.1); p = 0.04). Higher WC was associated with higher refined grain scores (0.01 (0.02); p = 0.01) in OD. Conclusion: BF% may shape dietary intake and quality in OD. Longitudinal studies are needed to elucidate the directionality of these relationships and develop strategies to improve dietary intake among OD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implications of Taste and Olfaction in Nutrition and Health)
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12 pages, 272 KiB  
Article
Identification of Human Brain Proteins for Bitter-Sweet Taste Perception: A Joint Proteome-Wide and Transcriptome-Wide Association Study
by Wenming Wei, Bolun Cheng, Dan He, Yijing Zhao, Xiaoyue Qin, Qingqing Cai, Na Zhang, Xiaoge Chu, Sirong Shi and Feng Zhang
Nutrients 2022, 14(10), 2177; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14102177 - 23 May 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2758
Abstract
Objective: Bitter or sweet beverage perception is associated with alterations in brain structure and function. Our aim is to analyze the genetic association between bitter or sweet beverage perception and human brain proteins. Materials and methods: In our study, 8356 and 11,518 proteins [...] Read more.
Objective: Bitter or sweet beverage perception is associated with alterations in brain structure and function. Our aim is to analyze the genetic association between bitter or sweet beverage perception and human brain proteins. Materials and methods: In our study, 8356 and 11,518 proteins were first collected from two reference datasets of human brain proteomes, the ROS/MAP and Banner. The bitter or sweet beverage perception-related proteome-wide association studies (PWAS) were then conducted by integrating recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) data (n = 422,300) of taste perception with human brain proteomes. The human brain gene expression profiles were collected from two reference datasets, including the brain RNA-seq (CBR) and brain RNA-seq splicing (CBRS). The taste perception-related transcriptome-wide association studies (TWAS) were finally performed by integrating the same GWAS data with human brain gene expression profiles to validate the PWAS findings. Results: In PWAS, four statistically significant proteins were identified using the ROS/MAP and then replicated using the Banner reference dataset (all permutated p < 0.05), including ABCG2 for total bitter beverages and tea, CPNE1 for total bitter beverage, ACTR1B for artificially sweetened beverages, FLOT2 for alcoholic bitter beverages and total sweet beverages. In TWAS analysis, six statistically significant genes were detected by CBR and confirmed by the CBRS reference dataset (all permutated p < 0.05), including PIGG for total bitter beverages and non-alcoholic bitter beverages, C3orf18 for total bitter beverages, ZSWIM7 for non-alcoholic bitter beverages, PEX7 for coffee, PKP4 for tea and RPLP2 for grape juice. Further comparison of the PWAS and TWAS found three common statistically significant proteins/genes identified from the Banner and CBR reference datasets, including THBS4 for total bitter beverages, CA4 for non-alcoholic bitter beverages, LIAS for non-grape juices. Conclusions: Our results support the potential effect of bitter or sweet beverage perception on brain function and identify several candidate brain proteins for bitter or sweet beverage perception. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implications of Taste and Olfaction in Nutrition and Health)
13 pages, 645 KiB  
Article
TAS1R3 and TAS2R38 Polymorphisms Affect Sweet Taste Perception: An Observational Study on Healthy and Obese Subjects
by Monia Cecati, Arianna Vignini, Francesca Borroni, Sofia Pugnaloni, Sonila Alia, Jacopo Sabbatinelli, Giulia Nicolai, Marina Taus, Andrea Santarelli, Mara Fabri, Laura Mazzanti and Monica Emanuelli
Nutrients 2022, 14(9), 1711; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14091711 - 20 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2712
Abstract
Background: The inter-individual differences in taste perception find a possible rationale in genetic variations. We verified whether the presence of four different single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes encoding for bitter (TAS2R38; 145G > C; 785T > C) and sweet ( [...] Read more.
Background: The inter-individual differences in taste perception find a possible rationale in genetic variations. We verified whether the presence of four different single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes encoding for bitter (TAS2R38; 145G > C; 785T > C) and sweet (TAS1R3; −1572C > T; −1266C > T) taste receptors influenced the recognition of the basic tastes. Furthermore, we tested if the allelic distribution of such SNPs varied according to BMI and whether the associations between SNPs and taste recognition were influenced by the presence of overweight/obesity. Methods: DNA of 85 overweight/obese patients and 57 normal weight volunteers was used to investigate the SNPs. For the taste test, filter paper strips were applied. Each of the basic tastes (sweet, sour, salty, bitter) plus pure rapeseed oil, and water were tested. Results: Individuals carrying the AV/AV diplotype of the TAS2R38 gene (A49P G/G and V262 T/T) were less sensitive to sweet taste recognition. These alterations remained significant after adjustment for gender and BMI. Moreover, a significant decrease in overall taste recognition associated with BMI and age was found. There was no significant difference in allelic distribution for the investigated polymorphisms between normal and overweight/obese patients. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that overall taste recognition depends on age and BMI. In the total population, the inter-individual ability to identify the sweet taste at different concentrations was related to the presence of at least one genetic variant for the bitter receptor gene but not to the BMI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implications of Taste and Olfaction in Nutrition and Health)
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20 pages, 3171 KiB  
Article
Daily Exposure to a Cranberry Polyphenol Oral Rinse Alters the Oral Microbiome but Not Taste Perception in PROP Taster Status Classified Individuals
by Neeta Y. Yousaf, Guojun Wu, Melania Melis, Mariano Mastinu, Cristina Contini, Tiziana Cabras, Iole Tomassini Barbarossa, Liping Zhao, Yan Y. Lam and Beverly J. Tepper
Nutrients 2022, 14(7), 1492; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14071492 - 02 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3146
Abstract
Diet and salivary proteins influence the composition of the oral microbiome, and recent data suggest that TAS2R38 bitter taste genetics may also play a role. We investigated the effects of daily exposure to a cranberry polyphenol oral rinse on taste perception, salivary proteins, [...] Read more.
Diet and salivary proteins influence the composition of the oral microbiome, and recent data suggest that TAS2R38 bitter taste genetics may also play a role. We investigated the effects of daily exposure to a cranberry polyphenol oral rinse on taste perception, salivary proteins, and oral microbiota. 6-n-Propylthiouracil (PROP) super-tasters (ST, n = 10) and non-tasters (NT, n = 10) rinsed with 30 mL of 0.75 g/L cranberry polyphenol extract (CPE) in spring water, twice daily for 11 days while consuming their habitual diets. The 16S rRNA gene sequencing showed that the NT oral microbiome composition was different than that of STs at baseline (p = 0.012) but not after the intervention (p = 0.525). Principal coordinates analysis using unweighted UniFrac distance showed that CPE modified microbiome composition in NTs (p = 0.023) but not in STs (p = 0.096). The intervention also altered specific salivary protein levels (α-amylase, MUC-5B, and selected S-type Cystatins) with no changes in sensory perception. Correlation networks between oral microbiota, salivary proteins, and sensory ratings showed that the ST microbiome had a more complex relationship with salivary proteins, particularly proline-rich proteins, than that in NTs. These findings show that CPE modulated the oral microbiome of NTs to be similar to that of STs, which could have implications for oral health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implications of Taste and Olfaction in Nutrition and Health)
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12 pages, 490 KiB  
Article
Association of Frailty Status and Dietary Patterns in a Nationally Representative Sample of United States Adults with Olfactory Dysfunction
by Varun Vohra, Evelyn M. Leland, Rodney J. Schlosser, Vidyulata Kamath and Nicholas R. Rowan
Nutrients 2022, 14(6), 1238; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14061238 - 15 Mar 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2220
Abstract
Background: Olfactory dysfunction (OD) is a strong, independent predictor of frailty and mortality risk. This study evaluated the association of dietary patterns and frailty status in older adults with OD. Methods: This cross-sectional study utilized the 2013–2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. [...] Read more.
Background: Olfactory dysfunction (OD) is a strong, independent predictor of frailty and mortality risk. This study evaluated the association of dietary patterns and frailty status in older adults with OD. Methods: This cross-sectional study utilized the 2013–2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Dietary patterns (DPs) characteristic of OD were derived using exploratory factor analysis (EFA). Multiple logistic regressions adjusted for demographics and frailty risk factors assessed the association of DPs with two frailty metrics: the frailty index (FI) and physical frailty (PF). Results: EFA yielded six distinct DPs in persons with OD. The protein/selenium (OR 0.82 [95% CI 0.74–0.92], p = 0.041) and β-carotene/vitamin A DPs (OR 0.76 [95% CI 0.66–0.88], p = 0.028) were independently associated with frailty by FI. Only the protein/selenium DP (OR 0.82 [95% CI 0.74–0.92], p = 0.036) was associated with frailty by PF. No DPs were associated with either frailty measure in normosmic persons. Conclusions: Dietary patterns high in protein/selenium and β-carotene/vitamin A are associated with lower frailty prevalence in adults with OD. While the relationship between OD and frailty is likely multifaceted, these findings suggest that dietary patterns are uniquely associated with frailty in older adults with OD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implications of Taste and Olfaction in Nutrition and Health)
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16 pages, 2453 KiB  
Article
Associations between Taste and Smell Sensitivity, Preference and Quality of Life in Healthy Aging—The NutriAct Family Study Examinations (NFSE) Cohort
by Shirley X. L. Lim, Richard Höchenberger, Niko A. Busch, Manuela Bergmann and Kathrin Ohla
Nutrients 2022, 14(6), 1141; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14061141 - 08 Mar 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3608
Abstract
Taste and smell function decline with age, with robust impairment in the very old. Much less is known about taste and smell function in young and middle aged. We investigated taste and smell sensitivity via thresholds in a sub-sample of the NutriAct Family [...] Read more.
Taste and smell function decline with age, with robust impairment in the very old. Much less is known about taste and smell function in young and middle aged. We investigated taste and smell sensitivity via thresholds in a sub-sample of the NutriAct Family Study (NFS), the NFS Examinations cohort (NFSE; N = 251, age M = 62.5 years). We examined different aspects relating to taste and smell function: the degree to which taste and smell sensitivity relate to another and to taste and smell preferences, the role of gender and age, as well as effects on Quality of Life (QoL). Taste thresholds were highly correlated, but no correlation was observed between taste and smell thresholds and between thresholds and preference. Women were more sensitive for both taste and smell than men. We found no effect of age on sensitivity and no effect of sensitivity on QoL. All null findings were complemented by Bayesian statistics. Together our results indicate the independence of taste and smell despite their overlap during sensorial experiences. We found no evidence for age-related sensory decline, which could be due to our sample’s characteristics of non-clinical volunteers with good dental health and 93% non-smokers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implications of Taste and Olfaction in Nutrition and Health)
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21 pages, 1943 KiB  
Article
Automated Classification of 6-n-Propylthiouracil Taster Status with Machine Learning
by Lala Chaimae Naciri, Mariano Mastinu, Roberto Crnjar, Iole Tomassini Barbarossa and Melania Melis
Nutrients 2022, 14(2), 252; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14020252 - 07 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1751
Abstract
Several studies have used taste sensitivity to 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) to evaluate interindividual taste variability and its impact on food preferences, nutrition, and health. We used a supervised learning (SL) approach for the automatic identification of the PROP taster categories (super taster (ST); medium [...] Read more.
Several studies have used taste sensitivity to 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) to evaluate interindividual taste variability and its impact on food preferences, nutrition, and health. We used a supervised learning (SL) approach for the automatic identification of the PROP taster categories (super taster (ST); medium taster (MT); and non-taster (NT)) of 84 subjects (aged 18–40 years). Biological features determined from subjects were included for the training system. Results showed that SL enables the automatic identification of objective PROP taster status, with high precision (97%). The biological features were classified in order of importance in facilitating learning and as prediction factors. The ratings of perceived taste intensity for PROP paper disks (50 mM) and PROP solution (3.2 mM), along with fungiform papilla density, were the most important features, and high estimated values pushed toward ST prediction, while low values leaned toward NT prediction. Furthermore, TAS2R38 genotypes were significant features (AVI/AVI, PAV/PAV, and PAV/AVI to classify NTs, STs, and MTs, respectively). These results, in showing that the SL approach enables an automatic, immediate, scalable, and high-precision classification of PROP taster status, suggest that it may represent an objective and reliable tool in taste physiology studies, with applications ranging from basic science and medicine to food sciences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implications of Taste and Olfaction in Nutrition and Health)
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11 pages, 3193 KiB  
Article
Tongue Leptin Decreases Oro-Sensory Perception of Dietary Fatty Acids
by Hameed Ullah, Amira Sayed Khan, Babar Murtaza, Aziz Hichami and Naim Akhtar Khan
Nutrients 2022, 14(1), 197; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14010197 - 31 Dec 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2068
Abstract
Leptin, an anorectic hormone, regulates food intake, energy expenditure and body weight. We assessed the implication of tongue leptin in the modulation of oro-sensory detection of dietary fatty acids in mice. The RT-PCR analysis showed that mRNA encoding leptin and leptin receptor (Ob-Rb) [...] Read more.
Leptin, an anorectic hormone, regulates food intake, energy expenditure and body weight. We assessed the implication of tongue leptin in the modulation of oro-sensory detection of dietary fatty acids in mice. The RT-PCR analysis showed that mRNA encoding leptin and leptin receptor (Ob-Rb) was expressed in mice taste bud cells (TBC). Confocal microscopic studies showed that the lipid sensor CD36 was co-expressed with leptin in mice TBC. Silencing of leptin or Ob-Rb mRNA in tongue papillae upregulated preference for a long-chain fatty acid (LCFA), i.e., linoleic acid (LA), in a two-bottle paradigm in mice. Furthermore, tongue leptin application decreased the preference for the LCFA. These results suggest that tongue leptin exerts an inhibitory action on fatty acid preference. In isolated mice TBC, leptin decreased LCFA-induced increases in free intracellular calcium concentrations, [Ca2+]i. Leptin and LCFA induced the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and STAT-3 and there were no additive or opposite effects of the two agents on the degree of phosphorylation. However, leptin, but not the LCFA, induced phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI-3-K)-dependent Akt phosphorylation in TBC. Furthermore, leptin induced hyperpolarization, whereas LCFA induced depolarization in TBC. Our study demonstrates that tongue leptin exerts an inhibitory action on oro-sensory detection of a dietary fatty acid by interfering with Ca2+ signaling and membrane potential in mice TBC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implications of Taste and Olfaction in Nutrition and Health)
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18 pages, 639 KiB  
Article
Self-Reported Olfactory Dysfunction and Diet Quality: Findings from the 2011–2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)
by Shristi Rawal, Valerie B. Duffy, Lauren Berube, John E. Hayes, Ashima K. Kant, Chuan-Ming Li, Barry I. Graubard and Howard J. Hoffman
Nutrients 2021, 13(12), 4561; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13124561 - 20 Dec 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4756
Abstract
We identified associations between self-reported olfactory dysfunction (OD) and dietary attributes in participants aged ≥40 years (n = 6,356) from the nationally representative 2011–2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The chemosensory questionnaire and 24-h dietary recalls were administered by trained [...] Read more.
We identified associations between self-reported olfactory dysfunction (OD) and dietary attributes in participants aged ≥40 years (n = 6,356) from the nationally representative 2011–2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The chemosensory questionnaire and 24-h dietary recalls were administered by trained interviewers. OD was defined as self-report of either smell problems in the last year, worse smell relative to age 25, or perceiving phantom odors. Dietary outcomes included Healthy Eating Index 2015 score (HEI) with adequacy and moderation components (higher scores indicated higher diet quality), dietary diversity, energy density, and intake of major food groups. Survey-weighted linear regression models estimated OD–diet associations, adjusting for socio-demographic, lifestyle, and clinical factors. Adjusted mean difference (95% CI) between those with versus without OD, showed that adults with OD had significantly lower HEI moderation score (−0.67 (−1.22, −0.11)) and diets higher in energy density (0.06 (0.00, 0.11)), and percent energy from saturated fat (0.47 (0.12, 0.81)), total fat (0.96 (0.22, 1.70)), and added sugar (1.00 (0.33, 1.66)). Age and sex-stratified analyses showed that younger females (40–64 years) primarily accounted for the associations with diet quality and total/saturated fat intake. These findings inform dietary screening and recommendations for adults who report OD, including those experiencing transient or persistent smell loss with COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implications of Taste and Olfaction in Nutrition and Health)
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14 pages, 1337 KiB  
Article
Brow and Masticatory Muscle Activity Senses Subjective Hedonic Experiences during Food Consumption
by Wataru Sato, Akira Ikegami, Sayaka Ishihara, Makoto Nakauma, Takahiro Funami, Sakiko Yoshikawa and Tohru Fushiki
Nutrients 2021, 13(12), 4216; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13124216 - 24 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2179
Abstract
Sensing subjective hedonic or emotional experiences during eating using physiological activity is practically and theoretically important. A recent psychophysiological study has reported that facial electromyography (EMG) measured from the corrugator supercilii muscles was negatively associated with hedonic ratings, including liking, wanting, and valence, [...] Read more.
Sensing subjective hedonic or emotional experiences during eating using physiological activity is practically and theoretically important. A recent psychophysiological study has reported that facial electromyography (EMG) measured from the corrugator supercilii muscles was negatively associated with hedonic ratings, including liking, wanting, and valence, during the consumption of solid foods. However, the study protocol prevented participants from natural mastication (crushing of food between the teeth) during physiological data acquisition, which could hide associations between hedonic experiences and masticatory muscle activity during natural eating. We investigated this issue by assessing participants’ subjective ratings (liking, wanting, valence, and arousal) and recording physiological measures, including EMG of the corrugator supercilii, zygomatic major, masseter, and suprahyoid muscles while they consumed gel-type solid foods (water-based gellan gum jellies) of diverse flavors. Ratings of liking, wanting, and valence were negatively correlated with corrugator supercilii EMG and positively correlated with masseter and suprahyoid EMG. These findings imply that subjective hedonic experiences during food consumption can be sensed using EMG signals from the brow and masticatory muscles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implications of Taste and Olfaction in Nutrition and Health)
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16 pages, 2012 KiB  
Article
Increased Fat Taste Preference in Progranulin-Deficient Mice
by Lana Schumann, Annett Wilken-Schmitz, Sandra Trautmann, Alexandra Vogel, Yannick Schreiber, Lisa Hahnefeld, Robert Gurke, Gerd Geisslinger and Irmgard Tegeder
Nutrients 2021, 13(11), 4125; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13114125 - 17 Nov 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2272
Abstract
Progranulin deficiency in mice is associated with deregulations of the scavenger receptor signaling of CD36/SCARB3 in immune disease models, and CD36 is a dominant receptor in taste bud cells in the tongue and contributes to the sensation of dietary fats. Progranulin-deficient mice (Grn [...] Read more.
Progranulin deficiency in mice is associated with deregulations of the scavenger receptor signaling of CD36/SCARB3 in immune disease models, and CD36 is a dominant receptor in taste bud cells in the tongue and contributes to the sensation of dietary fats. Progranulin-deficient mice (Grn−/−) are moderately overweight during middle age. We therefore asked if there was a connection between progranulin/CD36 in the tongue and fat taste preferences. By using unbiased behavioral analyses in IntelliCages and Phenomaster cages we showed that progranulin-deficient mice (Grn−/−) developed a strong preference of fat taste in the form of 2% milk over 0.3% milk, and for diluted MCTs versus tap water. The fat preference in the 7d-IntelliCage observation period caused an increase of 10% in the body weight of Grn−/− mice, which did not occur in the wildtype controls. CD36 expression in taste buds was reduced in Grn−/− mice at RNA and histology levels. There were no differences in the plasma or tongue lipids of various classes including sphingolipids, ceramides and endocannabinoids. The data suggest that progranulin deficiency leads to a lower expression of CD36 in the tongue resulting in a stronger urge for fatty taste and fatty nutrition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implications of Taste and Olfaction in Nutrition and Health)
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12 pages, 443 KiB  
Article
Carbohydrate Taste Is Associated with Food Intake and Body Mass in Healthy Australian Adults
by Andrew Costanzo, Natwalinkhol Settapramote, Niramon Utama-ang, Uracha Wanich, Simone Lewin and Russell Keast
Nutrients 2021, 13(11), 3844; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13113844 - 28 Oct 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2519
Abstract
Background: The taste of carbohydrates may drive their intake. Sensitivity to carbohydrate taste varies among individuals, thus, it is important to understand how differences in sensitivity influence eating behaviour and body mass. Objective: The aims of this study were to assess associations among [...] Read more.
Background: The taste of carbohydrates may drive their intake. Sensitivity to carbohydrate taste varies among individuals, thus, it is important to understand how differences in sensitivity influence eating behaviour and body mass. Objective: The aims of this study were to assess associations among carbohydrate taste sensitivity, habitual and acute food intake, and body mass; as well as assess the reliability of the carbohydrate detection threshold (DT) test within and across days. Methods: Carbohydrate DT was assessed six times across three sessions in 36 healthy adult participants (22 female) using a three-alternate forced choice methodology. Moreover, 24 h diet records were completed on the days prior to testing sessions, and food intake at a buffet lunch was collected following each session. Anthropometry was also measured. Linear mixed regression models were fitted. Results: The DT test required at least three measures within a given day for good reliability (ICC = 0.76), but a single measure had good reliability when compared at the same time across days (ICC = 0.54–0.86). Carbohydrate DT was associated with BMI (kg/m2: β = −0.38, p = 0.014), habitual carbohydrate intake (g: β = −41.8, p = 0.003) and energy intake (kJ: β = −1068, p = 0.019) from the 24-h diet records, as well as acute intake of a buffet lunch (food weight (g): β = −76.1, p = 0.008). Conclusions: This suggests that individuals who are more sensitive to carbohydrate are more likely to consume greater quantities of carbohydrates and energy, resulting in a greater body mass. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implications of Taste and Olfaction in Nutrition and Health)
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11 pages, 1124 KiB  
Article
Odor–Taste–Texture Interactions as a Promising Strategy to Tackle Adolescent Overweight
by Cristina Proserpio, Elvira Verduci, Gianvincenzo Zuccotti and Ella Pagliarini
Nutrients 2021, 13(10), 3653; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103653 - 19 Oct 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2583
Abstract
The adolescence period is characterized by a considerable risk to weight gain due to the high consumption of food rich in sugar. A promising strategy to reduce sugar consumption may lie in exploiting the ability of our senses to interact to each other [...] Read more.
The adolescence period is characterized by a considerable risk to weight gain due to the high consumption of food rich in sugar. A promising strategy to reduce sugar consumption may lie in exploiting the ability of our senses to interact to each other (cross-modal interactions). The aims were to investigate the cross-modal interactions and gustatory function in normal-weight and overweight adolescents. Fifty adolescents (25 overweight and 25 normal-weight) were involved. Subjects rated liking and attribute intensity in pudding samples obtained by adding vanilla aroma (0.1%; 0.3%), butter aroma (0.05%; 0.1%) or a thickener agent (1%; 1.5%) to a base formulation. The gustatory function was also measured through the “taste strips” methodology. Overweight adolescents were found to have a significantly (p < 0.001) worse ability to correctly identify all tastes. Cross-modal interactions occurred differently according to their body mass index, with a significant increase (p < 0.05) in sensory desirable characteristics (e.g., sweet and creaminess) due to aroma addition, especially in overweight subjects. Furthermore, butter aroma significantly increased hedonic responses only in overweight subjects. Tricking our senses in the way of perceiving sensory attributes could be a promising strategy to develop innovative food formulations with a reduced sugar amount, which will lead to a potential decrease in caloric intake and help to tackle the obesity epidemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implications of Taste and Olfaction in Nutrition and Health)
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22 pages, 1418 KiB  
Article
Does Responsiveness to Basic Tastes Influence Preadolescents’ Food Liking? Investigating Taste Responsiveness Segment on Bitter-Sour-Sweet and Salty-Umami Model Food Samples
by Ervina Ervina, Valérie L. Almli, Ingunn Berget, Sara Spinelli, Julia Sick and Caterina Dinnella
Nutrients 2021, 13(8), 2721; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082721 - 07 Aug 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4104
Abstract
The objective of this study was to investigate the relationships between taste responsiveness and food liking in preadolescents. Model food samples of grapefruit juice (GF) and vegetable broth (VB) modified with four additions of sucrose and sodium chloride, respectively, were employed. Intensity perception [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to investigate the relationships between taste responsiveness and food liking in preadolescents. Model food samples of grapefruit juice (GF) and vegetable broth (VB) modified with four additions of sucrose and sodium chloride, respectively, were employed. Intensity perception for sweetness, sourness, and bitterness were measured in GF while saltiness and umami were measured in VB. The children (N = 148) also completed food choice, familiarity, stated liking and neophobia questionnaires. The test was conducted at school, with instructions provided remotely via video call. Four segments were defined differing in basic taste responsiveness. Segments and sucrose concentrations significantly affected liking for GF, while no significant effect of segments and sodium chloride concentrations occurred on liking for VB. An increasing sucrose concentration was positively associated with liking for GF only in the segment with low responsiveness to bitter and sour tastes. No significant differences across segments were found for food choice, familiarity, stated liking, and neophobia. Conclusively, relationships between taste responsiveness and liking are product and basic taste-dependent in addition to being subject-dependent. Strategies to improve acceptance by using sucrose as a suppressor for warning sensations of bitterness and sourness can be more or less effective depending on individual responsiveness to the basic tastes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implications of Taste and Olfaction in Nutrition and Health)
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Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

15 pages, 601 KiB  
Review
The Effect of Artificial Sweeteners Use on Sweet Taste Perception and Weight Loss Efficacy: A Review
by Klara Wilk, Wiktoria Korytek, Marta Pelczyńska, Małgorzata Moszak and Paweł Bogdański
Nutrients 2022, 14(6), 1261; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14061261 - 16 Mar 2022
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 19286
Abstract
Excessive consumption of sugar-rich foods is currently one of the most important factors that has led to the development of the global pandemic of obesity. On the other hand, there is evidence that obesity contributes to reduced sensitivity to sweet taste and hormonal [...] Read more.
Excessive consumption of sugar-rich foods is currently one of the most important factors that has led to the development of the global pandemic of obesity. On the other hand, there is evidence that obesity contributes to reduced sensitivity to sweet taste and hormonal changes affecting appetite, leading to an increased craving for sweets. A high intake of sugars increases the caloric value of the diet and, consequently, leads to weight gain. Moreover, attention is drawn to the concept of the addictive properties of sugar and sugary foods. A potential method to reduce the energy value of diet while maintaining the sweet taste is using non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS). NNS are commonly used as table sugar substitutes. This wide group of chemical compounds features high sweetness almost without calories due to its high sweetening strength. NNS include aspartame, acesulfame-K, sucralose, saccharin, cyclamate, neohesperidin dihydrochalcone (neohesperidin DC), neotame, taumatin, and advantame. The available evidence suggests that replacing sugar with NNS may support weight control. However, the effect of NNS on the regulation of appetite and sweet taste perception is not clear. Therefore, the review aimed to summarize the current knowledge about the use of NNS as a potential strategy for weight loss and their impact on sweet taste perception. Most studies have demonstrated that consumption of NNS-sweetened foods does not increase sweetness preference orenergy intake. Nonetheless, further research is required to determine the long-term effects of NNS on weight management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implications of Taste and Olfaction in Nutrition and Health)
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18 pages, 1404 KiB  
Review
Taste of Fat and Obesity: Different Hypotheses and Our Point of View
by Laurent Brondel, Didier Quilliot, Thomas Mouillot, Naim Akhtar Khan, Philip Bastable, Vincent Boggio, Corinne Leloup and Luc Pénicaud
Nutrients 2022, 14(3), 555; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14030555 - 27 Jan 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 5833
Abstract
Obesity results from a temporary or prolonged positive energy balance due to an alteration in the homeostatic feedback of energy balance. Food, with its discriminative and hedonic qualities, is a key element of reward-based energy intake. An alteration in the brain reward system [...] Read more.
Obesity results from a temporary or prolonged positive energy balance due to an alteration in the homeostatic feedback of energy balance. Food, with its discriminative and hedonic qualities, is a key element of reward-based energy intake. An alteration in the brain reward system for highly palatable energy-rich foods, comprised of fat and carbohydrates, could be one of the main factors involved in the development of obesity by increasing the attractiveness and consumption of fat-rich foods. This would induce, in turn, a decrease in the taste of fat. A better understanding of the altered reward system in obesity may open the door to a new era for the diagnosis, management and treatment of this disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implications of Taste and Olfaction in Nutrition and Health)
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