Role of olfaction in food preference as evaluated in an animal model

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 1999 Sep;63(9):1553-6. doi: 10.1271/bbb.63.1553.


Food preference in individual animals is regulated by brain activity. Two murine model systems for investigating food preference were developed by focusing on fruit juices. In a home-cage, two-bottle test, the volume of apple juice consumed was found to be much larger than that of orange juice. In a two-nozzle "Drinkometer" test, by which each mouse was kept in a 38 cm (W) x 32 cm (D) cage and each drinking event was recorded by an electronic "Drinkometer" device, it was again found that the mice preferred drinking apple juice to orange juice. To elucidate the role of olfaction in this food preference, mice were subjected to an olfactory bulbectomy to remove the olfaction capability. In the home-cage two-bottle test, the preference for apple juice over orange juice was apparent even after the olfactory bulbectomy, indicating that olfaction was not essential for the formation of food preference behavior. In contrast, in the two-nozzle "Drinkometer" test, the preference for apple juice over orange juice was found to be abrogated by this surgery, implying the involvement of olfaction-based memory on food preference behavior.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Beverages
  • Citrus
  • Drinking Behavior / physiology
  • Food Preferences / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred DBA
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Models, Biological
  • Olfactory Bulb / physiology
  • Rosales
  • Smell / physiology*