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Food Smells may Prevent Overeating and Obesity

Author: American Chemical Society

Published: 2009-12-16

Synopsis:

Foods that make people feel full by releasing anti-hunger aromas during chewing.

Main Digest

A real possibility does exist for developing a new generation of foods that make people feel full by releasing anti-hunger aromas during chewing, scientists in the Netherlands are reporting after a review of research on that topic.

Such foods would fight the global epidemic of obesity with aromas that quench hunger and prevent people from overeating. Their article appears in ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry , a bi-weekly publication.

Rianne Ruijschop and colleagues note that scientists long have tried to develop tasty foods that trigger or boost the feeling of fullness. Until recently, that research focused on food's effects in stomach after people swallow it. Efforts now have expanded to include foods that release hunger-quenching aromas during chewing. Molecules that make up a food's aroma apparently do so by activating areas of the brain that signal fullness.

Their analysis found that aroma release during chewing does contribute to the feeling of fullness and possibly to consumers' decisions to stop eating. The report cites several possible applications, including developing foods that release more aroma during chewing or developing aromas that have a more powerful effect in triggering feelings of fullness.

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