Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Discovery of 'fat' taste could hold the key to reducing obesity

Date:
March 10, 2010
Source:
Deakin University
Summary:
A newly discovered ability for people to taste fat could hold the key to reducing obesity, researchers believe. They also found that people with a high sensitivity to the taste of fat tended to eat less fatty foods and were less likely to be overweight

Researchers have discovered that humans can detect a sixth taste: fat.
Credit: iStockphoto/Andrey Stepanov

A newly discovered ability for people to taste fat could hold the key to reducing obesity, Deakin University health researchers believe.

Deakin researchers Dr Russell Keast and PhD student Jessica Stewart, working with colleagues at the University of Adelaide, CSIRO, and Massey University (New Zealand), have found that humans can detect a sixth taste -- fat. They also found that people with a high sensitivity to the taste of fat tended to eat less fatty foods and were less likely to be overweight. The results of their research are published in the latest issue of the British Journal of Nutrition.

"Our findings build on previous research in the United States that used animal models to discover fat taste," Dr Keast said.

"We know that the human tongue can detect five tastes -- sweet, salt, sour, bitter and umami (a taste for identifying protein rich foods). Through our study we can conclude that humans have a sixth taste -- fat."

The research team developed a screening procedure to test the ability of people to taste a range of fatty acids commonly found in foods.

They found that people have a taste threshold for fat and that these thresholds vary from person to person; some people have a high sensitivity to the taste while others do not.

"Interestingly, we also found that those with a high sensitivity to the taste of fat consumed less fatty foods and had lower BMIs than those with lower sensitivity," Dr Keast said.

"With fats being easily accessible and commonly consumed in diets today, this suggests that our taste system may become desensitised to the taste of fat over time, leaving some people more susceptible to overeating fatty foods.

"We are now interested in understanding why some people are sensitive and others are not, which we believe will lead to ways of helping people lower their fat intakes and aide development of new low fat foods and diets."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Deakin University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jessica E. Stewart, Christine Feinle-Bisset, Matthew Golding, Conor Delahunty, Peter M. Clifton and Russell S. J. Keast. Oral sensitivity to fatty acids, food consumption and BMI in human subjects. British Journal Of Nutrition, 2010; 1 DOI: 10.1017/S0007114510000267

Cite This Page:

Deakin University. "Discovery of 'fat' taste could hold the key to reducing obesity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100310164011.htm>.
Deakin University. (2010, March 10). Discovery of 'fat' taste could hold the key to reducing obesity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100310164011.htm
Deakin University. "Discovery of 'fat' taste could hold the key to reducing obesity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100310164011.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping School Violence

Stopping School Violence

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A trauma doctor steps out of the hospital and into the classroom to teach kids how to calmly solve conflicts, avoiding a trip to the ER. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A tiny cyst in the brain that can cause debilitating symptoms like chronic headaches and insomnia, and the doctor who performs the delicate surgery to remove them. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Burning Away Brain Tumors

Burning Away Brain Tumors

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Doctors are 'cooking' brain tumors. Hear how this new laser-heat procedure cuts down on recovery time. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins