Presented at the 20th Meeting of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences, Sarasota, Florida, April 25, 1998.
Assessment of Gustatory Function by Means of Tasting Tablets†
Article first published online: 2 JAN 2009
Copyright © 2000 The Triological Society
Volume 110, Issue 8, pages 1396–1401, August 2000
How to Cite
Ahne, G., Erras, A., Hummel, T. and Kobal, G. (2000), Assessment of Gustatory Function by Means of Tasting Tablets. The Laryngoscope, 110: 1396–1401. doi: 10.1097/00005537-200008000-00033
- Issue published online: 2 JAN 2009
- Article first published online: 2 JAN 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 11 APR 2000
Objective To develop a simple test for the screening of gustatory function in clinical settings.
Study Design We tested 101 healthy volunteers (44 male and 57 female volunteers; mean age, 47 y) with the following gustatory test: the substances sucrose (sweet), citric acid (sour), sodium chloride (salty), and caffeine (bitter) were presented as tablets (diameter 4 mm) similar to common sweetener tablets. For quantitative assessment of whole-mouth gustatory function we used six different dosages with dilutions of each tastant in 50% steps. The highest dosage could be easily detected (sucrose, 30 mg; citric acid, 3 mg; sodium chloride, 2 mg; caffeine, 2 mg), and the lowest concentration was within threshold range.
Methods Twenty-eight tablets (si- different dosages of the four basic tastes plus four tasteless tablets) were tried in a randomized order. The entire test required 15 to 20 minutes. To evaluate the within-subject test-retest reliability, sessions were repeated after 1 week. Results were compared with those obtained by means of a conventional three-drop, forced-choice procedure using the method of ascending limits.
Results Results of the new gustatory test were significantly correlated with those obtained using the three-drop, forced-choice procedure (correlation coefficient [r] = 0.66, P < .001). In general, women performed better than men. Furthermore, younger subjects exhibited a significantly higher gustatory sensitivity in both tests compared with older subjects.
Conclusions This quantitative test of whole-mouth gustatory function is easy to use, can be self-administered, requires little time, and has a long shelf-life. It appears to be suited for routine clinical assessment of gustatory function.