Food Properties and Ingestive Behavior

Nutritional status is determined by an interaction between the characteristics of the consumer and properties of the foods ingested.  Both are actively studied by researchers in IBRC.  Multiple food properties are being explored by faculty and students from varied disciples.  Nutrient, phytochemical and non-nutrient (e.g., fiber) components of foods are being explored for their effects on food choice, satiety, nutrient bioavailability and energy intake.  Trials are testing the effects of varying the pattern of intake and site of absorption from the GI tract.  Physical form is another property receiving considerable research attention.  Work at Purdue has contributed to the understanding of differences in the implications of consuming energy from beverages versus solid foods and further studies are planned.  Recent evidence indicates the structure of foods and how they are processed by the food industry as well as in the oral cavity, stomach and intestine is an important determinant of their health impact in consumers. Sensory properties are yet another facet undergoing clinical trials within the Center.  Questions about the mechanisms and functions of oral fat detection, the influence of oral irritants on appetite and thermogenesis, the effect of oral processing effort on appetite and intake, and the influence of regular use of high intensity sweeteners on food choice and energy balance are examples of current projects.  With such a broad effort to characterize the effects of food properties on health outcomes, students have great latitude in developing projects of interest to themselves and IBRC faculty.

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