Smell the fat

Previous research has suggested that we may be able to "taste" fat. And now, researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center have found evidence that we might be able to smell it, too. "The human sense of smell is far better at guiding us through our everyday lives than we give it credit for," study researcher Johan Lundström, PhD, a cognitive neuroscientist at Monell, said in a statement. "That we have the ability to detect and discriminate minute differences in the fat content of our food suggests that this ability must have had considerable evolutionary importance."

— Read more at It's Possible To Smell The Fat In Food at the Huffington Post.

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  1. Omega says:

    I smell fat and taste it in food. Foods without fat or that are lower in fat are generally dry and blah. Or just taste weird. Fat free dressings and cream cheese? Gross. Baked chips? Pass..the smell of greasy potato chips gets my attention way more than those Baked Lays. Bacon not smelling quite right when in the pan? It’s probably lean, turkey bacon.

    • Robin says:

      I was a little surprised to find this is a new scientific discovery too…would have thought it was a given that people can smell fat.

      • Oakland Fresca says:

        At the risk of sounding snarkier than I feel, the article does begin with “Previous research has suggested that we may be able to “taste” fat.” Research? Goodness, how did they get that grant? Solving the great conundrum–can humans taste fat? Really? Shouldn’t they be trying to cure cancer… And the findings on “suggested” that we “may” be able to taste fat? Reminds me of the big study on the polar bear at the NYC zoo that kept swimming circles around his pool. After a year or so of zoologists studying what might be going on, their report concluded that the bear was bored.

        • Robin says:

          Ha, true enough! But the Monell Chemical Senses Center does some cool stuff, so I will cut them some slack :-)

  2. nozknoz says:

    Definitely significant evolutionary importance: fat has nearly twice the calories of carbs or protein, hence a much better source of energy. The fat soluble vitamins need fat to be absorbed, and there are specific components of some fats that we need. I’m sure fat detection helped my ancestors survive the last ice age, even though it’s not doing my figure any favors in this recent spell of soft times.

    • Robin says:

      The only diet that makes me actually lose weight is a high fat, low carb diet, so I need no convincing :-)

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