Are there relationships between basic tastes, age, gender and nutritional status in an elderly population?

Ilana Elman Grinberg 1, *, Fabio Gazelato de Mello Franco 1, Maria Elisabeth Machado Pinto-e-Silva 2 and Luciana Diniz Nagem Janot Matos1

1 Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Service of Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein.
2 Nutrition Departmentt, School of Public Health, University of São Paulo.
Research Article
World Journal of Advanced Research and Reviews, 2020, 07(02), 285-293
Article DOI: 10.30574/wjarr.2020.7.2.0304
Publication history: 
Received on 13 August 2020; revised on 27 August 2020; accepted on 30 August 2020
Due to a rise in number of elderly in the general population and their difficulties to feed themselves properly, a characterization of their sensibility to basic tastes could help to comprehend palatability and help overall nutritional counseling. The objectives of this study were to characterize the detection thresholds of the basic tastes in an elderly population regarding age, gender and nutritional status. The Threshold Sensibility test has been applied to detection of sweet, salt, sour, bitter and umami basic tastes, using six different concentrations. Were applied the Mini Mental State Examination test, the Mini Nutritional Assessment and Body Mass Index calculation. The sample has been classified accordingly to the variable distribution rate and analyzed with a non-parametrical statistical method. Two hundred and eighty elderlies participated, between 60 and 97 years old, mostly females and overweight. MMSE evaluated according to schooling presenting the majority of the studied population normality and regarding the MNA 18% had any risk of malnutrition. The highest percentage of perception was for monosodium glutamate at least once in the solution offered. Findings pointed toward more preserved taste detection to salt and umami in this population and that there is no statistical power to relate basic tastes sensibility to gender or nutritional status. On an overall analysis, sensibility to sweet, salt and umami tastes get worse as they grow older regardless of gender. Changes in habits according to age should be further explored, may improve food acceptance and quality of meals consumed.
Taste detection; Threshold; Elderly; Nutritional statu
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