The study, part of the larger Italian Taste project, was aimed at exploring the role of personality traits and taste responsiveness on liking and choice of pungent foods. Data of 1146 subjects (61% females, aged 18–60) were analysed. Subjects were characterised for demographics, taste functions (responsiveness to PROP and fungiform papillae density), and personality traits: sensitivity to reward (SR), to punishment (SP) and to disgust (SD), private body consciousness (PBC), alexithymia (TAS) and food neophobia (FN). They evaluated capsaicin and other tastants in solutions, then evaluated liking and perceived intensity (burning, acid, sweet and overall flavour) in a series of four samples of tomato juice, each spiked with capsaicin at a different concentration (0.3; 0.68; 1.01; 1.52 mg/kg). A choice index for pungent food was calculated as a sum of the choices of the spicy option using a questionnaire developed to evaluate preferences within a pair of food items (pungent vs non pungent option). Males and females differed for frequency of chili consumption and were studied separately. Age was not associated with frequency of chili consumption. Responsiveness to PROP was found to be positively correlated to perceived burn intensity. Results from ANOVA models showed that High SR, Low FN, Low DS (both males and females) and Low SP (males) liked significantly more the burning samples. Low FN and DS (in both genders), low SP (in females) perceived lower burning, and overall flavour intensities, while this was not observed in High SR. PLS regression models were used to gain a deeper understanding of the factors that affect pungent food choice. Choice was positively correlated with liking, and negatively with burning intensity, FN and DS. In addition, choice was negatively correlated with SP in females and positively with SR in males. Our results confirmed that many factors interplay in spicy food liking and choice and highlighted the role played by different personality traits in females and males. It was also reported that for same traits an effect on liking of pungency is associated with a lower perceived intensity of burning and overall flavour, while for other traits only an effect on liking was observed.

Spinelli, S.; De Toffoli, A.; Dinnella, C.; Laureati, M.; Pagliarini, E.; Bendini, A.; Braghieri, A.; Gallina Toschi, T.; Sinesio, F.; Torri, L.; Gasperi, F.; Endrizzi, I.; Magli, M.; Borgogno, M.; di Salvo, R.; Favotto, S.; Prescott, J.; Monteleone, E. (2018). Personality traits and gender influence liking and choice of food pungency. FOOD QUALITY AND PREFERENCE, 66: 113-126. doi: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2018.01.014 handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/49388

Personality traits and gender influence liking and choice of food pungency

Gasperi, F.;Endrizzi, I.;
2018-01-01

Abstract

The study, part of the larger Italian Taste project, was aimed at exploring the role of personality traits and taste responsiveness on liking and choice of pungent foods. Data of 1146 subjects (61% females, aged 18–60) were analysed. Subjects were characterised for demographics, taste functions (responsiveness to PROP and fungiform papillae density), and personality traits: sensitivity to reward (SR), to punishment (SP) and to disgust (SD), private body consciousness (PBC), alexithymia (TAS) and food neophobia (FN). They evaluated capsaicin and other tastants in solutions, then evaluated liking and perceived intensity (burning, acid, sweet and overall flavour) in a series of four samples of tomato juice, each spiked with capsaicin at a different concentration (0.3; 0.68; 1.01; 1.52 mg/kg). A choice index for pungent food was calculated as a sum of the choices of the spicy option using a questionnaire developed to evaluate preferences within a pair of food items (pungent vs non pungent option). Males and females differed for frequency of chili consumption and were studied separately. Age was not associated with frequency of chili consumption. Responsiveness to PROP was found to be positively correlated to perceived burn intensity. Results from ANOVA models showed that High SR, Low FN, Low DS (both males and females) and Low SP (males) liked significantly more the burning samples. Low FN and DS (in both genders), low SP (in females) perceived lower burning, and overall flavour intensities, while this was not observed in High SR. PLS regression models were used to gain a deeper understanding of the factors that affect pungent food choice. Choice was positively correlated with liking, and negatively with burning intensity, FN and DS. In addition, choice was negatively correlated with SP in females and positively with SR in males. Our results confirmed that many factors interplay in spicy food liking and choice and highlighted the role played by different personality traits in females and males. It was also reported that for same traits an effect on liking of pungency is associated with a lower perceived intensity of burning and overall flavour, while for other traits only an effect on liking was observed.
Personality traits
Pungency
Gender
PROP responsiveness
Liking
Choice
Capsaicin
Chili pepper intake
Settore AGR/15 - SCIENZE E TECNOLOGIE ALIMENTARI
2018
Spinelli, S.; De Toffoli, A.; Dinnella, C.; Laureati, M.; Pagliarini, E.; Bendini, A.; Braghieri, A.; Gallina Toschi, T.; Sinesio, F.; Torri, L.; Gasperi, F.; Endrizzi, I.; Magli, M.; Borgogno, M.; di Salvo, R.; Favotto, S.; Prescott, J.; Monteleone, E. (2018). Personality traits and gender influence liking and choice of food pungency. FOOD QUALITY AND PREFERENCE, 66: 113-126. doi: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2018.01.014 handle: http://hdl.handle.net/10449/49388
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