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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research

Food aroma affects bite size

René A de Wijk12*, Ilse A Polet12, Wilbert Boek3, Saskia Coenraad3 and Johannes HF Bult14

Author Affiliations

1 Top Institute Food and Nutrition, Wageningen, The Netherlands

2 Food & Biobased Research, Consumer Science & Intelligent Systems, Wageningen, The Netherlands

3 Hospital 'De Gelderse Vallei', Ede, The Netherlands

4 Nizo Food Research, Ede, The Netherlands

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Flavour 2012, 1:3  doi:10.1186/2044-7248-1-3

Published: 21 March 2012



To evaluate the effect of food aroma on bite size, a semisolid vanilla custard dessert was delivered repeatedly into the mouth of test subjects using a pump while various concentrations of cream aroma were presented retronasally to the nose. Termination of the pump, which determined bite size, was controlled by the subject via a push button. Over 30 trials with 10 subjects, the custard was presented randomly either without an aroma, or with aromas presented below or near the detection threshold.


Results for ten subjects (four females and six males), aged between 26 and 50 years, indicated that aroma intensity affected the size of the corresponding bite as well as that of subsequent bites. Higher aroma intensities resulted in significantly smaller sizes.


These results suggest that bite size control during eating is a highly dynamic process affected by the sensations experienced during the current and previous bites.