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Physiol Behav. 2007 Jun 8;91(2-3):304-9. Epub 2007 Mar 16.

The palatability of corn oil and linoleic acid to mice as measured by short-term two-bottle choice and licking tests.

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Laboratory of Nutrition Chemistry, Division of Food Science and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Kitashirakawaoiwakecho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.


Free fatty acids (FFAs) were reported to be recognized in the oral cavity and possibly involved in fatty foods recognition. To understand the importance of oil recognition in the oral cavity, we investigated the effect of various concentrations of a fatty acid or corn oil on fluid intake as well as mice's preferences in a two-bottle choice test and a licking test. Linoleic acid (LA), which is a main component of corn oil, was used as a representative FFA. In the two-bottle choice test between a pair of different concentrations of corn oil, the mice consistently adopted the higher concentration of corn oil. In the licking test for corn oil, the licking rates for the serial concentration of corn oils (0, 1, 5, 10 and 100%) were increased in a concentration-dependent manner. On the other hand, in the two-bottle test for a pair of different concentrations of LA (0, 0.125, 0.25 and 1%), 0.25% and 1% LA were preferred to mineral oil, but 0.25% and 1% LA were preferred equally in mice. In the licking test for LA, the mice showed the largest number of initial lickings for the 1% LA, while the licking rates for the high concentration of LA decreased. These results suggest that mice could discriminate the concentration of corn oil and LA in the oral cavity. We also suggest that pure corn oil is a highly preferable solution, while an optimal concentration of LA according to the preferences of mice is a low-range concentration (0.25-1%).

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