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J Am Diet Assoc. 1989 May;89(5):652-8.

Relationships between sour and salt taste perception and selected subject attributes.

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  • 1Department of Hotel Catering and Management, Oxford Polytechnic, Headington, England.


The relationships between perceived sour and salt taste intensity and selected subject attributes--taste/smell deficits, salt use, avoidance of salt/sour tasting foods, smoking, alcohol use, dentures, education, and prescription drug use--were investigated in 180 subjects (30 men and 30 women/age group: 20 to 29 years [young], 70 to 79 years [old], 80 to 99 years [very old]. Multiple regression analyses showed that the taste intensity estimates were significantly related to age, sex, stimulus concentration, self-reported taste/smell deficits, avoidance of salt/sour tasting foods, salt use, alcohol, smoking, education, and use of certain drugs (drugs for the treatment of arthritis, drugs acting on the gastrointestinal tract and heart system, and diuretics/drugs for the treatment of hypertension). The very old showed deficits in perception of the low suprathreshold tastant levels, with near normal perception of the high levels, whereas the old exhibited deficits at all levels. Wearing dentures was the only single variable not selected in any of the final regression models, due to the high prevalence and homogeneity in use of dentures in the elderly groups. Further work using a stratified sample and a large number of subjects is warranted to elucidate the influence of subject attributes on taste perception.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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