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November 29, 2011

"Mouthwatering" Foods May Be a Misnomer?

In the spirit of Thanskgiving where thoughts of food predominate, British researchers have determined that humans are NOT able to produce more saliva by merely thinking of foods whether hungry or not.

This includes looking at pictures of sumptuous foods.

What researchers did determine is that SMELLING foods increased salivary production significantly. Tasting and chewing was even more influential in salivary production.

So at least for humans, unless the food is smelled, tasted, or chewed, mouthwatering just does not happen.

Of note, salivary production was determined by placing cotton pledgets inside the cheeks (saliva produced by the parotid glands) and a suction device under the tongue (saliva produced by the submandibular glands) on healthy volunteers.

Read MSNBC report here.

Reference:
IS THE MOUTHWATERING SENSATION A TRUE SALIVARY REFLEX? Journal of Texture Studies Special Issue: Food Oral Processing - Physics, Physiology, and Psychology University of Leeds, U.K. Volume 42, Issue 3, pages 212–216, June 2011
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids. Google+ Christopher Chang, MD Bio

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