A new study published in the journal Chemical Senses states that researchers from Ingestive Behaviour Research Centre at Purdue University in Indiana, United States, have discovered the taste of fat that could help fight obesity and heart disease. Researchers have termed the newly discovered taste as ‘oleogustus’.
Oleogustus will now join the family of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami (savoury). Director of the Ingestive Behaviour Research Centre, Richard Mattes stated that identification of the taste of fat has a range of important health implications, as it could lead to the creation of improved fat replacements. Researchers in the current experiment examined the taste of non-esterified fatty (NEFA) acids which are fat’s basic building blocks.
In order to determine the taste of fats, two experiments were conducted in which participants wearing nose clips were asked to sample a range of different taste qualities including non-esterified fatty acids and sort them into groups of similar qualities. The textures of all the samples were same and the only difference was taste. Volunteers described the taste of the fat as bitter or irritating and consistently unpalatable.