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Physiol Behav. 1986;37(1):15-21.

Preference of rats for food flavors and texture in nutritionally controlled semi-purified diets.


Preference for nutritionally controlled, semi-purified diets modified by the addition of potent food flavors was determined for Sprague Dawley rats using two-choice diet preference tests. Intake of each food cup was monitored after 1 hr and for each 24 hr period thereafter up to 5 days. Preference was also determined for the flavored diets prepared in three forms differing in texture: powdered, and pellets of two sizes. Rats easily detected minor amounts of the food flavors, and the tests provided a catalog of 12 preferred flavors. Exposure time to the diets altered preference for a minority of flavors; diets initially avoided in the first hour test were likely to become less aversive upon continued exposure. Whether or not a specific flavored diet was preferred, total food intake was not affected during the 5 day period monitored. Rats displayed strong preference for diets of a pelleted texture compared to the same diets in a powdered form.

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