Identification of the characteristics that drive consumer liking of butter.
“This study identified and explored the sensory characteristics that drive consumer liking of butter. A trained descriptive panel evaluated 27 commercial butters using a defined sensory language. Read More
Researcher: “C’mon elephant, the peanuts are right there. I’m pointing right at them!”
Elephant: *blank stare*
Researcher: “The dogs, goats, and horses can find them.”
Elephant: *blank stare*
Researcher: *sigh* “Fine. Just use your trunk then.”
“Recent research suggests that domesticated species – due to artificial selection by humans for specific, preferred behavioral traits – are better than wild animals at responding to visual cues given by humans about the location of hidden food. Although this seems to be supported by studies on a range of domesticated (including dogs, goats and horses) and wild (including wolves and chimpanzees) animals, there is also evidence that exposure to humans positively influences the ability of both wild and domesticated animals to follow these same cues. Here, we test the performance of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) on an object choice task that provides them with visual-only cues given by humans about the location of hidden food. Read More
This isn’t the first time we’ve highlighted a report of a bat species that engages in oral sex. However, this time it’s the females that get the extra attention. First fellatio, and now cunnilingus: who knew bat sex would be so hot? Be sure to the check out the perhaps-NSFW video from the paper’s supplementary information:
Cunnilingus Apparently Increases Duration of Copulation in the Indian Flying Fox, Pteropus giganteus.
“We observed a total of 57 incidences of copulation in a colony of the Indian flying fox, Pteropus giganteus, over 13 months under natural conditions. The colony consisted of about 420 individuals, roosting in a Ficus religiosa tree. Copulations occurred between 07.00 h and 09.30 h from July to January, with more occurring in October and November. Initially males groomed their penis before approaching a nearby female. Females typically moved away and males followed. When the female stopped moving, the male started licking her vagina (cunnilingus). Read More
It seems like everyone wants to figure out how to eat less. Some studies indicate that chewing more might help. But if you don’t have extra time to spend on mastication, you might want to read this study. Apparently, at least when eating a multi-course banquet of meatballs (M), french fries (F), brownies (B), and vanilla cream (C), the order in which you eat your chosen delicacies may influence the total amount you consume. So if you want to eat less dessert, try meatballs, then french fries, then meatballs, then french fries, then meatballs, then french fries, then vanilla cream, then brownies, then vanilla cream, then brownies, then vanilla cream. BEST DIET EVVAAARRRR! (Caveat: this will make you eat more french fries).
Alternation between foods within a meal. Influence on satiation and consumption in humans.
“Food habituation/dishabituation has been observed in non-human primates in neurophysiological investigations of feeding, and in humans, through salivation or hedonic responses to food. The objective of the study was to evaluate in humans the effect of disruption of habituation by alternation between foods in a meal. Sixteen volunteers (8 males, 8 females; age: 21+/-1 yr; BMI: 21.5+/-0.5 kgm(-2)) ate a two-course meal [meatballs (M) and fries (F), then vanilla cream (C) and brownies (B)] during three randomized sessions. Sessions differed by the alternation of these foods: No-Repetition session with M-F-C-B; Single-Repetition session with F-M-F-B-C-B; Multiple-Repetition session with M-F-M-F-M-F-C-B-C-B-C-B. Read More
As everyone knows, “practice makes perfect”. But how much better do you get with practice? Do you become more accurate, or just more precise (more consistent, despite whether you are correct)? Apparently, this hasn’t been tested, and these researchers earned their salt by investigating if trained subjects are more accurate or more precise at estimating how much sodium chloride (table salt) is in a sample of salt water spiked with sucrose (sugar). Should we a-salt you with another salty joke? Na, that just wouldn’t be kosher. Iodized.
Superiority of experts over novices in trueness and precision of concentration estimation of sodium chloride solutions.
“Several studies have reported that experts outperform novices in specific domains. However, the superiority of experts in accuracy, taking both trueness and precision into consideration, has not yet been explored. Here, we examined differences between expert and novice performances by evaluating the accuracy of their estimations of physical concentrations of sodium chloride in solutions while employing a visual analog scale. Read More
“Pitcher plants of the genus Nepenthes have highly specialized leaves adapted to attract, capture, retain, and digest arthropod prey. Several mechanisms have been proposed for the capture of insects, ranging from slippery epicuticular wax crystals to downward-pointing lunate cells and alkaloid secretions that anesthetize insects. Here we report that perhaps the most important capture mechanism has thus far remained overlooked. It is based on special surface properties of the pitcher rim (peristome) and insect “aquaplaning.” Read More
“Physical evidence in the form of a high quality bite mark was discovered on a piece of yellow cheese found at the scene of a crime. The cheese had been frozen by police for 10 days after recovery and before submission to the laboratory for testing. The double swab technique was used to collect DNA samples. A sample of the suspect’s blood was obtained. Using PCR-based DNA typing at ten STR loci, (Profiler Plus, Perkin Elmer-Applied Biosystems) it was determined that the DNA from the cheese originated from the suspect. Read More
Many consumers avoid eating beans because they believe legume consumption will cause excessive intestinal gas or flatulence. An increasing body of research and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans supports the benefits of a plant-based diet, and legumes specifically, in the reduction of chronic disease risks. The purpose of the current research was to investigate the perception of increased flatulence and gastrointestinal discomfort among participants who consumed a ½ cup of beans daily for 8 or 12 weeks. Read More
“Coffee beverage known as espresso, must be topped by a velvety thick, reddish-brown foam called crema, to be considered properly prepared and to be appreciated by connoisseurs. In spite of the relevant role played by crema as a quality marker, espresso coffee foam has not yet been the subject of detailed investigations. Only recently, some aspects of the Physics and Chemistry behind the espresso coffee foam have attracted the attention of scientists. In addition to sharing several characteristics with other food foams like beer foam, for instance, the espresso coffee foam may contain solid particles (minute coffee cell-wall fragments), it is subjected to a remarkable temperature gradient and its continuous phase is an oil in water emulsion rendering it a very complex system to be studied. Read More
“Prolonged chewing of food can reduce meal intake. However, whether prolonged chewing influences intake at a subsequent eating occasion is unknown. We hypothesised that chewing each mouthful for 30s would reduce afternoon snack intake more than (a) an habitual chewing control condition, and (b) an habitual chewing condition with a pauses in between each mouthful to equate the meal durations. We further hypothesised that this effect may be related to effects of prolonged chewing on lunch memory. Forty three participants ate a fixed lunch of sandwiches in the laboratory. Read More