Passage Twenty-six (Sensory Evaluation of Food)
A Polish proverb claims that fish, to taste right, should three times—in water, in butter and in wine. The early efforts of the basic scientists in the food industry were directed at improving the preparation, preservation, and distribution of safe and nutritious food. Our memories of certain foodstuffs eaten during the World War II suggest that, although these might have been safe and nutritious, they certainly did not taste right nor were they particularly appetizing in appearance or smell. This neglect of the sensory appeal of foods is happily becoming a thing of the past. Bow, in the book “Principles of Sensory Evaluation of Food,” the authors hope that it will be useful to food technologists in industry and also to others engaged in research into problem of sensory evaluation of foods. An attempt has clearly been make to collect every possible piece of information, which might be useful, more than one thousand five hundred references being quoted. As a result, the book seems at first sight to be an exhaustive and critically useful review of the literature. This it certainly is, but this is by no means is its only achievement, for there are many suggestions for further lines of research, and the discursive passages are crisply provocative of new ideas and new ways of looking at established findings.
Of particular interest is the weight given to the psychological aspects of perception, both objectively and subjectively. The relation between stimuli and perception is well covered, and includes a valuable discussion of the uses and disadvantages of the Weber fraction of differences. It is interesting to find that in spite of many attempts to separate and define the modalities of taste, nothing better has been achieved than the familiar classification into sweet, sour salty and bitter. Nor is there as yet any clear-cut evidence of the physiological nature of the taste stimulus. With regard to smell, systems of classification are of little value because of the extraordinary sensitivity of the nose and because the response to the stimulus is so subjective. The authors suggest that a classification based on the size, shape and electronic status of the molecule involved merits further investigation, as does the theoretical proposition that weak physical binding of the stimulant molecule to he receptor site is a necessary part of the mechanism of stimulation.
Apart from taste and smell, there are many other components of perception of the sensations from food in the mouth. The basic modalities of pain, cold, warmth and touch, together with vibration sense, discrimination and localization may all play a part, as, of course, does auditory reception of bone-conducted vibratory stimuli from the teeth when eating crisp or crunchy foods. In this connection the authors rightly point out that this type of stimulus requires much more investigation, suggesting that a start might be made by using subjects afflicted with various forms of deafness. It is well-known that extraneous noise may alter discrimination, and the attention of the authors is directed to the work of Prof. H. J. Eysenck on the “stimulus hunger” of extroverts and the “stimulus avoidance” of introverts.
1. The reviewer uses a Polish proverb at the beginning of the article in order to
[A]. introduce, in an interesting manner, the discussion of food.
[B]. show the connection between food and nationality of food.
[C]. indicate that there are various ways to prepare food.
[D]. impress upon the reader the food value of fish.
2. The reviewers appraisal of “Principles of Sensory Evaluation of Food” is one of
[A]. mixed feelings. [B]. indifference
[C]. high praise. [D]. faint praise.
3. The writer of the article does not express the view, either directly or by implication, that
[A]. sharply defined classifications of taste are needed.
[B]. more research should be done regarding the molecular constituency of food.
[C]. food values are objectively determined by an expert “smeller”.
[D]. temperature is an important factor in the value of food.
4. The authors of the book suggest the use of deaf subject because
[A]. deaf people are generally introversive.
[B]. the auditory sense is an important factor in food evaluation.
[C]. they are more fastidious in their choice of foods.
[D]. All types of subjects should be used.
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