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, 136, 145-54

Is Fat Taste Ready for Primetime?


Is Fat Taste Ready for Primetime?

Nicholas V DiPatrizio. Physiol Behav.


Mounting evidence suggests that gustation is important for the orosensory detection of dietary fats, and might contribute to preferences that humans, rodents, and possibly other mammals exhibit for fat-rich foods. In contrast to sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami, fat is not widely recognized as a primary taste quality. Recent investigations, however, provide a wealth of information that is helping to elucidate the specific molecular, cellular, and neural mechanisms required for fat detection in mammals. The latest evidence supporting a fat taste will be explored in this review, with a particular focus on recent studies that suggest a surprising role for gut-brain endocannabinoid signaling in controlling intake and preference for fats based on their proposed taste properties.

Keywords: Endocannabinoid; Fat; Food reward; Periphery; Taste.


Figure 1
Figure 1
The sham feeding rat. Sham feeding isolates the orosensory component of feeding by eliminating its post-ingestive consequences. The sham feeding protocol is based on the methods of Gerard P. Smith [37], and recently adapted for our studies examining cephalic-phase changes in endocannabinoid signaling [38, 46]. In the sham feeding paradigm, liquid diets are consumed from sipper tubes, then drain out of a reversible gastric cannulae that is surgically implanted into the stomach (see a and b). Liquids drain through a tube that is threaded into the cannulae, and placed through a longitudinal opening in the floor of the cage that allows for free movement of the animal during testing. Fluids are collected in a vessel placed below the cage, which can be weighed to determine that all consumed liquids properly drain through the gastric cannulae.

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