The term oleogustus was recently proposed to describe a sixth basic taste that could guide preference for fatty foods and dishes to an extent. However, experimental data on food preference based on fatty acid (FA) content is scarce. Our aim was to examine the role of FA profile of oils and preparations as well as FA sensory thresholds on the palatability of salty and sweet culinary preparations representative of traditional Spanish Mediterranean cooking. In this study, we used three oils with similar texture and odor profile but different in their FA composition (saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated) and compared subjects in regard to their FA detection threshold and perceived pleasantness and intensity. Our results indicate that whereas saturated FAs cannot be detected at physiological concentrations, individuals can be categorized as tasters and nontasters, according to their sensory threshold to linoleic acid, which is negatively associated with perceived intensity (r = –0.393, P < 0.001) but positively with palatability (r = 0.246, P = 0.018). These differences may be due to a possible response to a fat taste. This sixth taste, or oleogustus. would allow establishing differences in taste intensity/palatability considering the FA profile of the culinary preparations. Given that tasters can detect linoleic and oleic acid at lower concentrations than nontasters, a greater amount of unsaturated FAs in culinary preparations could provoke an unpleasant experience. This finding could be relevant in the context of the culinary sector and to further our understanding of food preference and eating behavior.

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