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Appetite. 2003 Apr;40(2):119-29.

Effects of repeated exposure and health-related information on hedonic evaluation and acceptance of a bitter beverage.

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  • 1Monell Chemical Senses Center, 3500 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. stein@monell.org

Abstract

The influence of exposure and information on sensory evaluation and acceptance of bitter flavor was assessed. Following sensory testing in the laboratory, subjects consumed a commercially-available bittersweet beverage once daily for 7days in a setting of their choosing, then returned to the laboratory for post-exposure tests. Hedonic ratings for the beverage increased by 68%, whereas ratings for control stimuli sampled only in the laboratory did not change. Following exposure, relationships of hedonic ratings with intensity and familiarity varied according to the context in which evaluations were made: hedonic ratings were correlated with intensity in a familiar setting and with familiarity in an unfamiliar setting. Health-related information had no effect on perceptual changes that accompanied exposure, but did tend to increase a behavioral measure of acceptability, suggesting that information may have a greater effect on behavior than on hedonics. Together, the data suggest that repeated exposure can enhance hedonic evaluation of a bittersweet beverage, perhaps through a learned association of flavor with post-ingestive consequences. Context may mediate this effect and studies addressing the influence of information on bitter food acceptance should include measures of consumption and evaluate information strategies, as bitter foods may be particularly resistant to cognitively-based appeals.

PMID:
12781161
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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