Taste is a chemical sense that aids in the detection of nutrients and guides food choice. A limited number of primary qualities comprise taste. Accumulating evidence has raised a question about whether fat should be among them. Most evidence indicates triacylglycerol is not an effective taste stimulus, though it clearly contributes sensory properties to foods by carrying flavor compounds and altering texture. However, there is increasing anatomical, electrophysiological, animal behavior, imaging, metabolic, and psychophysical evidence that free fatty acids are detectable when non-taste cues are minimized. Free fatty acids varying in saturation and chain length are detectable, suggesting the presence of multiple transduction mechanisms and/or a nonspecific mechanism in the oral cavity. However, confirmation of “fatty” as a taste primary will require additional studies that verify these observations are taste specific. Oral exposure to free fatty acids likely serves as a warning signal to discourage intake and influences lipid metabolism.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error