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Preference and perception of fat in salty and sweet foods
journal contributionposted on 2018-03-01, 00:00 authored by Dieuwerke Bolhuis, Andrew CostanzoAndrew Costanzo, Russell KeastRussell Keast
Introduction Higher liking for fat is a risk factor for obesity. Fat in food is often combined with a sweet or salty taste. This study aims to investigate the role of fat on pleasantness and perception in both a salty and a sweet liquid food product. Methods In a complete factorial design, 47 participants (23 males) tasted creamy tomato soup and custard in four fat concentrations (0, 7.5, 15, 30%), combined with four salt concentrations (0.04, 0.35, 0.7, 1.5%) in soup, and four sugar concentrations (0.56, 4.5, 9, 18%) in custard. Participants rated pleasantness, saltiness intensity, sweetness intensity and fattiness intensity. The preferred fat concentrations were determined by hedonic ranking. Results Fat and salt separately affected pleasantness in soup (P < .01). Fat, sugar and their interaction affected pleasantness in custard (P < .001). Sugar and salt were a stronger influencer of pleasantness than fat. Preference for fat in soup was variable, whereas the highest concentration of 30% fat was preferred in custard (P < .001). Ratings of fattiness intensity were more responsive to fat concentrations in soup than in custard (P-interaction fat × food base < .001). Conclusion Salt and sugar are stronger influencers on food liking than fat. Across foods, there is no consistent effect of fat on perception or on liking, therefore the attractiveness of fat in foods cannot be generalised. The attraction to high fat levels in custard, while hardly perceiving differences in fat concentrations, remains unclear and needs further investigation.