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Individual differences in taste perception and bitterness masking

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The unpleasant bitter taste found in many nutritious vegetables may deter people from consuming a healthy diet. We investigated individual differences in taste perception and whether these differences influence the effectiveness of bitterness masking. To test whether phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) `supertasters'

The unpleasant bitter taste found in many nutritious vegetables may deter people from consuming a healthy diet. We investigated individual differences in taste perception and whether these differences influence the effectiveness of bitterness masking. To test whether phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) `supertasters' also taste salt and sugar with greater intensity, as suggested by Bartoshuk and colleagues (2004), we infused strips of paper with salt water or sugar water. The bitterness rating of the PTC strip had a significant positive linear relationship with ratings of both the intensity of sweet and salt, but the effect sizes were very low, suggesting that the PTC strip does not give a complete picture of tasting ability. Next we investigated whether various seasonings could mask the bitter taste of vegetables and whether this varied with tasting ability. We found that sugar decreased bitterness and lemon decreased liking for vegetables of varying degrees of bitterness. The results did not differ by ability to taste any of the flavors. Therefore, even though there are remarkable individual differences in taste perception, sugar can be used to improve the initial palatability of vegetables and increase their acceptance and consumption.

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Date Created
2012

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Economic analysis of implementing electronic traceability system for fresh produce importers

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The global demand and trade for fruits and vegetables is increasing at national and international levels. The fresh fruits and vegetables supply chain are highly vulnerable to contamination and can be easily spoiled due to their perishable nature. Due to

The global demand and trade for fruits and vegetables is increasing at national and international levels. The fresh fruits and vegetables supply chain are highly vulnerable to contamination and can be easily spoiled due to their perishable nature. Due to increases in fresh fruit and vegetable trade shipment volume between countries, the fresh food supply chain area is the highly susceptible and frequently prone to food contamination. The inability of firms in the fresh food business to have a good supply chain visibility and tracking system is one of the prominent reasons for food safety failure. Therefore, in order to avoid food safety risk and to supply safe food to consumers, the firms need to have an efficient traceability system in their supply chain. Most of the research in the food supply chain area suggests the implementation of a highly efficient tracking system called RFID (Radio frequency identification) technology to firms in the food industry. The medium scale firms in the fresh food supply chain business are skeptical about implementing the RFID technology equipped traceability system due to its high cost of investment and low margins on fresh food sales. This research developed two methods to measure the probability of food safety risk in food supply chain. These methods use the information gain from RFID traceability systems as a tool to measure the amount of risk in the fresh food supply chain. The stochastic optimization model is applied in this study to determine the risk premium by investing in RFID technology over the electronic barcode traceability system. The results show that there is a reduction in buyer (Type II error) and seller risk (Type I error) for RFID technology employed traceability system compared to electronic barcode system. It is found from stochastic optimization results that there is a positive risk premium by investing in RFID traceability system over the current systems and suggests the implementation of RFID traceability system for complex medium scale fresh produce imports to reduce the food safety risks. This research encourages the food industries and government agencies to evaluate alternatives to update supply chain system with RFID technology.

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Date Created
2011

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Te de boba: food, identity, and race in a multiracial suburb

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With the push towards interdisciplinary approaches, there has been tremendous growth of scholarship in the comparative ethnic studies field. From studies on multiracial people, to residential segregation, to the study of multiracial spaces, there is a lot to say about

With the push towards interdisciplinary approaches, there has been tremendous growth of scholarship in the comparative ethnic studies field. From studies on multiracial people, to residential segregation, to the study of multiracial spaces, there is a lot to say about cross-cultural experiences. “Te de Boba” explores the relationship between identity, race, and ethnicity of millennials through a food studies lens. In particular, I analyze the role of food spaces and food pathways in developing identity and conceptions of race and ethnicity. My research site consists of a small business, a boba tea shop in Baldwin Park, California: What happens when a boba shop opens up in downtown Baldwin Park, a predominantly Latinx community? How do interethnic relationships shape the structure and city landscape of Baldwin Park, and how do these experiences in turn shape self-identity among millennials? I draw from qualitative interviews, cognitive mapping, and surveys conducted within the boba shop to understand millennial identity formation in Baldwin Park. Millennials growing up in Baldwin Park experience unique relationships between cultures, foods, and lifestyles that cross ethnic and racial barriers, creating new forms of community, which I call hub cities. I develop “hub cities” as new terminology for discussing suburban spaces that foster a sense of community within suburban areas that challenges and break down popular discourse of race and ethnicity, giving way for youth creation of alternative discourses on race and ethnicity, consequently shaping the way they form self-identity.

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Date Created
2016

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Fat as a Basic Taste: CD36 and its Role in Fat Taste

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Epidemiological studies have identified obesity as a risk factor for numerous chronic diseases such as adult onset diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia. In both humans and laboratory animals, high-fat diets have been shown to cause obesity. Increases in dietary fat lead

Epidemiological studies have identified obesity as a risk factor for numerous chronic diseases such as adult onset diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia. In both humans and laboratory animals, high-fat diets have been shown to cause obesity. Increases in dietary fat lead to increased energy consumption and, consequently, significant increases in body fat content. CD36 has been implicated in fat perception, preference, and increased consumption, but it is yet to be tested using a behavior paradigm. To study the effect of CD36 on fat taste transmission and fat consumption, four CD36 knockout (experimental) mice and four Black 6 wildtype (control) mice underwent 20 days of fat preference and perception testing. Both groups of mice were exposed to foods with progressively increasing fat content (10%, 12.5%, 15% 17.5%, 20%, 45%) in order to assess the effect of CD36 on fat preference. Afterward, the mice were subjected to an aversive conditioning protocol designed to test the effect of CD36 on fat taste perception; development of a conditioned taste aversion was indicative of ability to taste fat. Especially, knockout mice exhibited diminished preference for and reduced consumption of fat during preference testing and were unable to identify fat taste as the conditioned stimulus during aversive conditioning. A repeated measures ANOVA with Bonferroni correction revealed a significant main effect of group on fat consumption, energy intake, and weight. Linear regression revealed CD36 status to account for a majority of observed variance in fat consumption across both phases of the experiment. These results implicate CD36 in fat taste perception and preference and add to the growing body of evidence suggesting fat as a primary taste.

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Date Created
2018