The aim of this study was to determine if taste interactions occur when bitter stimuli are mixed. Eight bitter stimuli were employed: denatonium benzoate (DB), quinine-HCl (QHCl), sucrose octaacetate (SOA), urea, L-tryptophan (L-trp), L-phenylalanine (L-phe), ranitidine-HCl, and Tetralone. The first experiment constructed individual psychophysical curves for each subject (n = 19) for each compound to account for individual differences in sensitivities when presenting bitter compounds in experiment 2. Correlation analysis revealed two groupings of bitter compounds at low intensity (1, L-trp, L-phe, and ranitidine; 2, SOA and QHCl), but the correlations within each group decreased as the perceived intensity increased. In experiment 2, intensity ratings and two-alternative forced-choice discrimination tasks showed that bitter compounds generally combine additively in mixture and do not show interactions with a few specific exceptions. The methods employed detected synergy among sweeteners, but could not detect synergy among these eight bitter compounds. In general, the perceived bitterness of these binary bitter-compound mixtures was an additive function of the total bitter-inducing stimuli in the mouth.
This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication by Chemical senses following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Keast, Russell, Bournazel, Melanie M. E. and Breslin, Paul A. S. 2003, A psychophysical investigation of binary bitter-compound interactions, Chemical senses, vol. 28, no. 4, pp. 301-313. is available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/chemse/28.4.301
Field of Research
170112 Sensory Processes, Perception and Performance
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