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AChems Press Release

Children’s Preference And Ability To Detect Sugars Differ From Adults

Children love sweets. They most prefer more intense sweetness than do adults. However, this age-related difference is not because children are less sensitive to sweetness.

Everyone knows that children love sweets more than adults, but why? In the study, researchers measured sweet taste preference (concentration of sucrose most preferred) and sensitivity (lowest concentration of sucrose detected as a taste when compared to water) in 182 children and 102 adults to determine whether both change with age and whether related. While children require higher sucrose concentrations to detect a taste (and thus less sensitive) than adults, sweet taste sensitivity did not predict level of sweetness most preferred. Further understanding of sweet taste perception is needed to develop strategies to improve food choice across the lifespan. (contact: M. Yanina Pepino, ypepino@illinois.edu; +1 267 432 1068 OR Julie Mennella, mennella@monell.org ; +1 267 978 1695).

Authors: Sara Petty, Clara Salame, Julie A. Mennella and M. Yanina Pepino

The poster presentation “Sweet taste detection and preference in children vs. adults” (#P510) takes place Wednesday April 17th, 8:00-10:00 am ET in the Estero Ballroom