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Physiol Behav. 1983 Apr;30(4):629-33.

Cream and sugar: human preferences for high-fat foods.


Sixteen normal-weight subjects rated the perceived intensity of sweetness, fatness, and creaminess of 20 different mixtures of milk, cream, and sugar, and assigned an overall pleasantness (hedonic) rating to each sample. Intensity estimates increased as power functions of ingredient concentration and no significant mixture suppression effect was observed. In contrast, hedonic responses strongly depended on the relative proportions of sucrose and fat in the samples tasted. Hedonic preference ratings first rose and then declined with increasing sucrose concentration, but continued to rise with increasing dairy fat content. The addition of sucrose greatly enhanced hedonic ratings for high-fat stimuli. Changes in hedonic responsiveness were monitored using a mathematical modelling technique known as the Response Surface Method, which allows computerized simulation of the hedonic response surface as a function of perceived ingredient levels. Overnight fasting did not affect the perception or hedonics for sweet or "fatty" tastes. The observed preference for sweetened high-fat foods may have implications for the development of dietary-induced obesity in man.

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