Palatability - more than a metter of taste

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Utah State University Extension


Behavioral Education for Human, Animal, Vegetation & Ecosystem Management

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Preferences for foods are thought to be influenced by palatability. But palatability has many meanings. Webster defines palatable as pleasant or acceptable to the taste and hence fit to be eaten or drunk. Animal scientists usually explain palatability as the pleasurable feelings associated with eating that depend on a food's flavor and texture, or how much animals like a food or ration. Plant scientists describe palatability in terms of plant qualities, such as chemical composition, growth stage, and associated plants, availability of other plant species. These definitions of palatability focus on a food's flavor or its chemical and physical characteristics, but fail to integrate these variables.