Effects of swallowing and spitting on flavor intensity

Amanda Pizarek, Zata Vickers

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5 Scopus citations


Does spitting provide the same flavor experience as swallowing? The objective of this research was to compare swallowing and spitting as procedures for evaluating flavor intensity. Participants evaluated taste or flavor intensity by both swallowing and expectorating water solutions, puddings, and cookies with added tastes and odors; each taste/odor was evaluated at several different concentrations. Flavor intensity was perceived to be more intense for caffeine solutions, ethyl butyrate solutions, and almond extract-flavored puddings when panelists swallowed than when they expectorated. Such differences were not observed for sucrose solutions, citric acid solutions, and most monosodium glutamate solutions. Swallowing versus expectorating had no effect on the flavor intensity of cookies flavored with orange extract. Our observations that swallowing/expectorating does not impact all attributes equally, suggests that spitting will change both the intensity profiles and the character of a food compared with normally swallowing. Practical applications: Spitting is a common practice in trained panel evaluations of food, wine judging, and other situations where people wish to minimize the amount of food they ingest. Spitting, however, changes the perceived intensities of some flavors, but not others, thus potentially altering the sensory character of the food.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12277
JournalJournal of Sensory Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2017

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© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


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