The Flavor World of Infants Our knowledge of the infants’ sensory world, as it relates to flavors, has expanded substantially during the past few decades. We now know that their first experience with flavors occurs prior to birth, since the flavor of amniotic fluid changes as a function of the dietary choices of the ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2003
The Flavor World of Infants
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Julie A. Mennella
    Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, PA
  • Catherine A. Forestell
    Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, PA
  • M. Yanina Pepino
    Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, PA
  • Julie Mennella is a research scientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center (mennella@monel.org). Catherine Forestell and Yanina Pepino are post doctoral fellows at the Monell Chemical Senses Center. The Monell Chemical Senses Center, a non-profit, scientific institute founded in 1968, conducts basic research that explores the mechanisms and functions of taste, smell and chemical irritation. Some of the research described in this article has been supported by Grants AA09523 and HD37119 from the National Institutes of Health.
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2003
The Flavor World of Infants
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), December 2003, Vol. 12, 10-20. doi:10.1044/sasd12.4.10
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), December 2003, Vol. 12, 10-20. doi:10.1044/sasd12.4.10
Our knowledge of the infants’ sensory world, as it relates to flavors, has expanded substantially during the past few decades. We now know that their first experience with flavors occurs prior to birth, since the flavor of amniotic fluid changes as a function of the dietary choices of the mother. We also know that their world is different from that of the older child and adult, since the ability to detect certain tastes and flavors develops after birth. This article will review the body of research that revealed the sensory capabilities and limitations of the human infant, as well as the impact of early sensory experiences on the acceptance of flavors and foods during infancy and childhood. But, before we discuss the early flavor experiences of the human infant, we must establish a basic understanding of taste and smell, the differences between them, and how they interact to produce the overall impression of flavor.
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