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MULTISENSORY FLAVOR PERCEPTION IN YOUNG CHILDREN

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abstract
Flavor perception is a key factor in dictating food choice, which directly relates to health outcomes. Between ages 2 and 6, children experience changes in food attitudes. This project examines the potential contribution of gustatory and retronasal olfactory perception to these behaviors. Although taste preferences are stable from birth, there is no knowledge of the development of retronasal smell perception, partly due to the difficulty in assessing sensory function in toddlers. Thus, the primary goal of this study is to implement a novel protocol for assessing flavor preference in toddlers to investigate changes in retronasal odor perception. Subjects were recruited and tested in the local community. Young children (n=22) and one of their parents (n=24) were asked to drink 8 solutions with either a taste or an odor compound, or plain water. Participants rated the solutions on a pictorial liking scale. Ratings from all solutions were analyzed to determine perceived intensity and valence. Taste intensity and valence were confirmed to be stable, but there were differences in individual odor valences and intensity of hibiscus odor in children compared to adults. This suggests that aspects of retronasal odor perception differ between children and adults and can potentially be modified by experience.
subject
CEBQ
childhood obesity
eating behavior
flavor perception
odor
retronasal olfaction
contributor
Colbert, Sarah Elizabeth (author)
Maier, Joost X. (committee chair)
Maier, Joost X. (committee member)
Milligan, Carol (committee member)
Brown, Callie L. (committee member)
date
2021-06-03T08:36:25Z (accessioned)
2021 (issued)
degree
Neuroscience (discipline)
2026-05-17 (liftdate)
embargo
2026-05-17 (terms)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/98854 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
title
MULTISENSORY FLAVOR PERCEPTION IN YOUNG CHILDREN
type
Thesis

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