Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Odors: appetizing or satiating? Development of appetite during odor exposure over time

Abstract

Background:

Exposure to palatable food odors influences appetite responses, either promoting or inhibiting food intake. Possibly, food odors are appetizing after a short exposure (of circa 1–3 min), but become satiating over time (circa 10–20 min).

Objective:

To investigate the effect of odor exposure on general appetite and sensory-specific appetite (SSA) over time.

Design:

In a cross-over study, 21 unrestrained women (age: 18–45 years; BMI: 18.5–25 kg m−2) were exposed for 20 min to eight different odor types: five food odors, two nonfood odors and no-odor. All odors were distributed in a test room at suprathreshold levels. General appetite, SSA and salivation were measured over time.

Results:

All food odors significantly increased general appetite and SSA, compared with the no-odor condition. The nonfood odors decreased general appetite. All effects did not change over time during odor exposure. Savory odors increased the appetite for savory foods, but decreased appetite for sweet foods, and vice versa after exposure to sweet odors. Neither food odors nor nonfood odors affected salivation.

Conclusions:

Palatable food odors were appetizing during and after odor exposure and did not become satiating over a 20-min period. Food odors had a large impact on SSA and a small impact on general appetite. Moreover, exposure to food odors increased the appetite for congruent foods, but decreased the appetite for incongruent foods. It may be hypothesized that, once the body is prepared for intake of a certain food with a particular macronutrient composition, it is unfavorable to consume foods that are very different from the cued food.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
Figure 4
Figure 5

References

  1. Harrold JA, Dovey TM, Blundell JE, Halford JCG . CNS regulation of appetite. Neuropharmacology 2012; 63: 3–17.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Woods SC . The eating paradox—How we tolerate food. Psychol Rev 1991; 98: 488–505.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Fedoroff I, Polivy J, Peter Herman C . The specificity of restrained versus unrestrained eaters' responses to food cues: general desire to eat, or craving for the cued food? Appetite 2003; 41: 7–13.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Ferriday D, Brunstrom JM . How does food-cue exposure lead to larger meal sizes? Br J Nutr 2008; 100: 1325–1332.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Cornell CE, Rodin J, Weingarten H . Stimulus-induced eating when satiated. Physiol Behav 1989; 45: 695–704.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Jansen A, Theunissen N, Slechten K, Nederkoorn C, Boon B, Mulkens S et al. Overweight children overeat after exposure to food cues. Eat Behav 2003; 4: 197–209.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Oakes ME, Slotterback CS . Self-reported measures of appetite in relation to verbal cues about many foods. Curr Psychol 2000; 19: 137–142.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Rogers PJ, Hill AJ . Breakdown of dietary restraint following mere exposure to food stimuli: interrelationships between restraint, hunger, salivation, and food intake. Addict Behav 1989; 14: 387–397.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Engelen L, de Wijk RA, Prinz JF, van der Bilt A, Bosman F . The relation between saliva flow after different stimulations and the perception of flavor and texture attributes in custard desserts. Physiol Behav 2003; 78: 165–169.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Ferriday D, Brunstrom JM . ‘I just can’t help myself': effects of food-cue exposure in overweight and lean individuals. Int J Obes 2011; 35: 142–149.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Yeomans MR . Olfactory influences on appetite and satiety in humans. Physiol Behav 2006; 89: 10–14.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Stroebele N, De Castro JM . Effect of ambience on food intake and food choice. Nutrition 2004; 20: 821–838.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Nederkoorn C, Smulders FTY, Jansen A . Cephalic phase responses, craving and food intake in normal subjects. Appetite 2000; 35: 45–55.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Power ML, Schulkin J . Anticipatory physiological regulation in feeding biology: cephalic phase responses. Appetite 2008; 50: 194–206.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Rolls ET, Rolls JH . Olfactory sensory-specific satiety in humans. Physiol Behav 1997; 61: 461–473.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. Jansen A, Vandenhout M . On being led into temptation—counterregulation of dieters after smelling a preload. Addict Behav 1991; 16: 247–253.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. Hirsch MDG . R. Weight reduction through inhalation of odorants. J Neurol Orthop Med SufI 1995; 16: 28–31.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Smeets AJ, Lejeune MP, Westerterp-Plantenga MS . Effects of oral fat perception by modified sham feeding on energy expenditure, hormones and appetite profile in the postprandial state. Br J Nutr 2009; 101: 1360–1368.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. Rolls BJ, Rolls ET, Rowe EA, Sweeney K . Sensory specific satiety in man. Physiol Behav 1981; 27: 137–142.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. Nolan LJ, Hetherington MM . The effects of sham feeding-induced sensory specific satiation and food variety on subsequent food intake in humans. Appetite 2009; 52: 720–725.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. Smeets A, Westerterp-Plantenga MS . Oral exposure and sensory-specific satiety. Physiol Behav 2006; 89: 281–286.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. Brunstrom JM . Associative learning and the control of human dietary behavior. Appetite 2007; 49: 268–271.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. Shaffer SE, Tepper BJ . Effects of learned flavor cues on single meal and daily food intake in humans. Physiol Behav 1994; 55: 979–986.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. Sclafani A . Post-ingestive positive controls of ingestive behavior. Appetite 2001; 36: 79–83.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  25. Davis JD, Smith GP . The conditioned satiating effect of orosensory stimuli. Physiol Behav 2009; 97: 293–303.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  26. O’Sullivan HL, Alexander E, Ferriday D, Brunstrom JM . Effects of repeated exposure on liking for a reduced-energy-dense food. Am J Clin Nutr 2010; 91: 1584–1589.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  27. Kral TVE . Effects on hunger and satiety, perceived portion size and pleasantness of taste of varying the portion size of foods: a brief review of selected studies. Appetite 2006; 46: 103–105.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. Van Strien T . Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire Manual (Nederlandse Vragenlijst voor eetgedrag Handleiding). Boom Test Publishers: Amsterdam, 2005.

    Google Scholar 

  29. Distel H, Ayabe-Kanamura S, Martinez-Gomez M, Schicker I, Kobayakawa T, Saito S et al. Perception of everyday odors—Correlation between intensity, familiarity and strength of hedonic judgement. Chem Senses 1999; 24: 191–199.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  30. de Wijk R, Zijlstra S . Differential effects of exposure to ambient vanilla and citrus aromas on mood, arousal and food choice. Flavour 2012; 1: 24.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Blundell J, de Graaf C, Hulshof T, Jebb S, Livingstone B, Lluch A et al. Appetite control: methodological aspects of the evaluation of foods. Obes Rev 2010; 11: 251–270.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  32. Rolls ET, Grabenhorst F, Margot C, da Silva M, Velazco MI . Selective attention to affective value alters how the brain processes olfactory stimuli. J Cogn Neurosci 2008; 20: 1815–1826.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  33. Finlayson G, King N, Blundell JE . Is it possible to dissociate ‘liking’ and ‘wanting’ for foods in humans? A novel experimental procedure. Physiol Behav 2007; 90: 36–42.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  34. Finlayson G, King N, Blundell J . The role of implicit wanting in relation to explicit liking and wanting for food: implications for appetite control. Appetite 2008; 50: 120–127.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  35. Brunstrom JM, Yates HM, Witcomb GL . Dietary restraint and heightened reactivity to food. Physiol Behav 2004; 81: 85–90.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  36. Delamater AR . Partial reinforcement and latent inhibition effects on stimulus-outcome associations in flavor preference conditioning. Learn Behav 2011; 39: 259–270.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  37. Lappalainen R, Sjödén P-O, Karhunen L, Gladh V, Lesinska D . Inhibition of anticipatory salivation and craving in response to food stimuli. Physiol Behav 1994; 56: 393–398.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  38. Hulshof KFAM, Ocke MC, Van Rossum CTM, Buurma-Rethans EJM, Brants HAM, Drijvers JMM et al Results of the Food Consumption Survey Report no.: RIVM report 350030002/2004 Bilthoven, 2003.

    Google Scholar 

  39. WHO. Principles for the Estimation of Energy Requirements. Energy and Protein Requirements. WHO: Geneva, 1985.

  40. Rolls BJ . Sensory-specific satiety. Nutr Rev 1986; 44: 93–101.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  41. Hetherington MM, Boyland E . Short-term effects of chewing gum on snack intake and appetite. Appetite 2007; 48: 397–401.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  42. Hetherington MM, Regan MF, Boyland E . Chewing it over: effects of chewing gum on appetite. Appetite 2008; 50: 560–560.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Hetherington MM, Regan MF . Effects of chewing gum on short-term appetite regulation in moderately restrained eaters. Appetite 2011; 57: 475–482.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  44. Drewnowski A, Grinker JA, Hirsch J . Obesity and flavor perception: multidimensional scaling of soft drinks. Appetite 1982; 3: 361–368.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  45. Negoias S, Visschers R, Boelrijk A, Hummel T . New ways to understand aroma perception. Food Chem 2008; 108: 1247–1254.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  46. Small DM, Gerber JC, Mak YE, Hummel T . Differential neural responses evoked by orthonasal versus retronasal odorant perception in humans. Neuron 2005; 47: 593–605.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  47. Feldman M, Richardson CT . Role of thought, sight, smell, and taste of food in the cephalic phase of gastric acid secretion in humans. Gastroenterology 1986; 90: 428–433.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  48. Larsen JK, Hermans RCJ, Engels RCME . Food intake in response to food-cue exposure. Examining the influence of duration of the cue exposure and trait impulsivity. Appetite 2012; 58: 907–913.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  49. Bender G, Hummel T, Negoias S, Small DM . Separate signals for orthonasal vs. retronasal perception of food but not nonfood odors. Behav Neurosci 2009; 123: 481–489.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  50. Eiler WA II, Dzemidzic M, Case KR, Considine R, Kareken D . Correlation between ventromedial prefrontal cortex activation to food aromas and cue-driven eating. fMRI Study 2012; 5: 27–36.

    Google Scholar 

  51. Berthoud HR, Munzberg H, Richards BK, Morrison CD . Neural and metabolic regulation of macronutrient intake and selection. Proc Nutr Soc 2012; 71: 390–400.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  52. Smeets PAM, Erkner A, de Graaf C . Cephalic phase responses and appetite. Nutr Rev 2010; 68: 643–655.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  53. Mattes RD . Nutritional implications of the cephalic-phase salivary response. Appetite 2000; 34: 177–183.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  54. Rolls BJ, Rowe EA, Rolls ET, Kingston B, Megson A, Gunary R . Variety in a meal enhances food-intake in man. Physiol Behav 1981; 26: 215–221.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  55. Rolls BJ, Duijvenvoorde PMV, Rolls ET . Pleasantness changes and food intake in a varied four-course meal. Appetite 1984; 5: 337–348.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  56. Rolls BJ, Rowe EA, Rolls ET . How sensory properties of foods affect human feeding behavior. Physiol Behav 1982; 29: 409–417.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  57. Trellakis S, Tagay S, Fischer C, Rydleuskaya A, Scherag A, Bruderek K et al. Ghrelin, leptin and adiponectin as possible predictors of the hedonic value of odors. Regul Pept 2011; 167: 112–117.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank NWO-STW for funding and Givaudan, Allsens, and IFF for providing the odors for this study. Furthermore, we thank Loes van Tiel, Daphne Bosman, Nancy Holthuysen and Xandra Bakker-de Haan, for their help prior to and during the study, Dione Bouchaut for her help with the recruitment of participants, Gerrit Gort for statistical advice and all the participants for their contribution. Finally, we thank Rene de Wijk, Markus Stieger and all members of the STW guidance committee for their advice prior to the study. This work was financially supported by the Dutch Technology Foundation STW (grant 07438) with co-financers: Unilever, CSM, Danone Netherlands, and Royal Friesland Campina. Furthermore, the odors used were provided by Givaudan, Allsens, and IFF.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to M G Ramaekers.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ramaekers, M., Boesveldt, S., Lakemond, C. et al. Odors: appetizing or satiating? Development of appetite during odor exposure over time. Int J Obes 38, 650–656 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2013.143

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/ijo.2013.143

Keywords

  • appetite
  • food choice
  • odor type
  • olfactory cue
  • sensory-specific appetite
  • sensory-specific satiety

This article is cited by

Search

Quick links