Sensory-specific satiety is affected more by volume than by energy content of a liquid food

Physiol Behav. 2003 Apr;78(4-5):593-600. doi: 10.1016/s0031-9384(03)00055-6.


As a food is consumed, its perceived pleasantness declines compared to that of other foods. This phenomenon, referred to as sensory-specific satiety, contributes to the termination of eating, along with other factors. This study tested whether the change in ratings of pleasantness after consuming a food is related to either the amount of food that is consumed or to its energy content. On each of 3 days, 36 women consumed a different formulation of a milk-based liquid food: (1) 300 ml, 2067 kJ; (2) 600 ml, 2067 kJ; or (3) 600 ml, 4134 kJ. The three formulations of the liquid food varied in volume and energy, but were matched for palatability and macronutrient composition. Participants rated the pleasantness of samples of the liquid food and four other foods both immediately before and after consumption of the liquid food. Results showed that doubling the volume of the liquid food that was consumed, without changing the energy content, significantly decreased pleasantness ratings of the liquid food and increased sensory-specific satiety. Doubling the energy content of the food without changing its volume, however, had no additional effect on the decrease in the ratings or on sensory-specific satiety. These results suggest that the volume of food that is consumed has a greater influence on perceptions of a food's pleasantness than does its energy content. Thus, the volume of food may affect the termination of eating in part through effects on sensory-specific satiety.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Appetite / physiology
  • Eating / psychology*
  • Energy Intake / physiology*
  • Female
  • Food Analysis
  • Food, Formulated
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Satiety Response / physiology*
  • Taste / physiology*