PLOS ONE2014-02-24 6:09 PM

遥距探测食品脂肪含量:基于人类嗅觉的脂肪辨别能力 Detecting Fat Content of Food from a Distance: Olfactory-Based Fat Discrimination in Humans 

论文摘要 
消耗高含量脂肪的愿望被认为起源自囤积热量的进化压力,而脂肪是我们可以长时间储存的为数不多的能源之一。从生态学角度来看,我们在摄入脂肪之前就可以利用它从远处探测脂肪。先前结果已表明人类可以通过气味来检测脂肪酸的高浓度含量。而更重要的是,人类甚至能够在真正的食物中检测脂肪含量。在一系列的3个连续实验中,通过选自不同文化背景的研究群体,我们证明了个体仅靠嗅觉就能够可靠地检测出食物的脂肪含量。3个实验的所有结果都清楚表明,即使受不同牛奶气味的影响,人类仍能够探测到具有不同脂肪含量的牛奶样品之间的细微差异。此外,我们发现这种能力表现与体重指数或乳品消费都没有关系,
从而表明这不是后天习得的能力或依赖于营养特质才具有的。我们认为人类可以通过嗅觉检测食物脂肪含量的研究结果可能开辟了能够普遍减少人们脂肪摄入量的创新性的未来新路径,未来研究应着眼于决定具有这种效果的牛奶成分。

Abstract 

The desire to consume high volumes of fat is thought to originate from an evolutionary pressure to hoard calories, and fat is among the few energy sources that we can store over a longer time period. From an ecological perspective, however, it would be beneficial to detect fat from a distance, before ingesting it. Previous results indicate that humans detect high concentrations of fatty acids by their odor. More important though, would be the ability to detect fat content in real food products. In a series of three sequential experiments, using study populations from different cultures, we demonstrated that individuals are able to reliably detect fat content of food via odors alone. Over all three experiments, results clearly demonstrated that humans were able to detect minute differences between milk samples with varying grades of fat, even when embedded within a milk odor. Moreover, we found no relation between this performance and either BMI or dairy consumption, thereby suggesting that this is not a learned ability or dependent on nutritional traits. We argue that our findings that humans can detect the fat content of food via odors may open up new and innovative future paths towards a general reduction in our fat intake, and future studies should focus on determining the components in milk responsible for this effect. 

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