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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Health care sciences and services, Nutrition, Dietetics, Public and environmental health

Publication Details

Food Quality and Preference


The Check-all-that-apply (CATA) method has been widely used for the sensory characterisation of many different foods and beverages. However, this methodology has been rarely used with older adults. The aim of this study was to measure the effectiveness of the CATA methodology to investigate the differences in sensory perception of Oral Nutritional Supplements (ONS) between younger and community dwelling older adults over successive sips of a full volume of two ONS. The study also sought to measure the effects of ONS on thirst, hunger and fullness. 160 participants (eighty aged over 65 and eighty aged 18-35) evaluated two ONS over two different days. They consumed five 40 ml aliquots of ONS amounting to one serving. After each 40 ml they completed a CATA questionnaire, which recorded liking using a 9-point hedonic scale and hunger, fullness, desire, and thirst using 100 mm visual analogue scales. The results indicated significantly lower levels in hunger (p ≤ 0.01) and thirst (p ≤ 0.01) in the older cohort than the younger cohort. Significant differences in texture perception with age were also observed with the younger cohort selecting ‘Watery’ significantly more (p ≤ 0.05) than the older cohort for ONS 1 and ‘Thick’ and ‘Viscous’ significantly more (p ≤ 0.05) for ONS 2. The study showed that the CATA methodology is appropriate for use with older adults. The findings enhanced our understanding of how an older population experience ONS and drivers of ‘liking’. This information has the potential to enhance ONS adherence and ultimately improve the nutritional status of older people.


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