Sensory characterization of the irritant properties of oleocanthal, a natural anti-inflammatory agent in extra virgin olive oils
Cicerale, Sara, Breslin, Paul, Beauchamp, Gary and Keast, Russell 2009, Sensory characterization of the irritant properties of oleocanthal, a natural anti-inflammatory agent in extra virgin olive oils, Chemical senses, vol. 34, no. 4, pp. 333-339.
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Oleocanthal is an olive oil phenolic possessing anti-inflammatory activity. Anecdotal evidence suggests that oleocanthal elicits a stinging sensation felt only at the back of the throat (oropharynx). Due to this compound possessing potentially health-benefiting properties, investigation into the sensory aspects of oleocanthal is warranted to aid in future research. The important link between the perceptual aspects of oleocanthal and health benefits is the notion that variation in sensitivity to oleocanthal irritation may relate to potential differences in sensitivity to the pharmacologic action of this compound. The current study assessed the unique irritant attributes of oleocanthal including its location of irritation, temporal profile, and individual differences in the perceived irritation. We show that the irritation elicited by oleocanthal was localized to the oropharynx (P < 0.001) with little or no irritation in the anterior oral cavity. Peak irritation was perceived 15 s postexposure and lasted over 180 s. Oleocanthal irritation was more variable among individuals compared with the irritation elicited by CO2 and the sweetness of sucrose. There was no correlation between intensity ratings of oleocanthal and CO2 and oleocanthal and sucrose (r = –0.15, n = 50, P = 0.92 and r = 0.17, n = 84, P = 0.12, respectively), suggesting that independent mechanisms underlie the irritation of CO2 and oleocanthal. The unusual spatial localization and independence of acid (CO2) sensations suggest that distinct nociceptors for oleocanthal are located in the oropharyngeal region of the oral cavity.
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 Cicerale, Sara, Breslin, Paul, Beauchamp, Gary and Keast, Russell 2009-05, Sensory characterization of the irritant properties of oleocanthal, a natural anti-inflammatory agent in extra virgin olive oils, Chemical senses, vol. 34, no. 4, pp. 333-339. is available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/chemse/bjp006
Field of Research
111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified
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