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Physiol Behav. 2006 Mar 30;87(3):602-6. Epub 2006 Jan 24.

Intake, sweetness and liking during modified sham feeding of sucrose solutions.

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  • 1Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons/NYSPI, New York, NY, USA.


Although sweet solids and liquids are palatable to humans and ingested frequently when readily available, the quantitative relationship between sweet taste and intake has not been reported in humans. To investigate the quantitative relationship between sweet taste and intake directly, we adapted the modified sham feeding technique, previously used in humans for the study of the orosensory control of autonomic, neuroendocrine, and metabolic mechanisms, to measure the intake of solutions both unsweetened and sweetened with four concentrations of sucrose. By limiting the sucrose stimuli to the mouth, the modified sham feeding technique measures the orosensory stimulation of intake by sucrose in the absence of inhibitory postingestive stimulation. Nine healthy women were randomly presented with two series of five solutions of cherry Kool Aid unsweetened or sweetened with one of four concentrations of sucrose (2.5%, 5%, 10%, or 20%) in a closed opaque container fitted with a straw. They were instructed to sip as much as they wanted of the liquid during 2-min trials and to spit the fluid out into another opaque container. At the end of each trial, they used Visual Analogue Scales to rate the perceived intensities of sweetness and liking of the liquid that they had just sipped and spit. Intake, liking and perceived sweetness were significantly affected by sucrose concentration (p values</=0.038). Intake at 20% was not significantly larger than 10% or 5%. The effects of sucrose were presumably due to orosensory stimulation in the absence of postingestive stimulation because the amount of liquid spit out did not differ significantly from the amount sipped.

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