Richard (Rick) Mattes


Educational Background

  • B.S., Biology at University of Michigan in 1975
  • M.P.H., Public Health Nutrition at University of Michigan School of Public Health in 1978
  • Ph.D., Human Nutrition at Cornell University in 1981

Certificates & Licenses

  • R.D. - Dietetics in 1982

Dissertation Title

Salt taste responsiveness and preference among normotensive, pre-hypertensive, and hypertensive adults

Awards & Honors

  • Award for Excellence in Research, International Nut and Dried Fruit Council, 2017
  • Babcock-Hart Award, 2013
  • Hall of Fame from Purdue University, Department of Foods and Nutrition, 2011
  • Distinguished Professor from Purdue University, 2010
  • Elaine R Monsen Award for Outstanding Research Literature from American Dietetic Association, 2008
  • Provost's Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award from Purdue University, 2006
  • J.R. Vicker Lecturer from Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology, 2003
  • Award of Merit for Research from Gamma Sigma Delta, 2000
  • University Faculty Scholar from Purdue University, 1999

Activities & Memberships

  • Vice President American Society of Nutrition, 2018 - 2019
  • Director, Public Health Graduate Program, 2014 - Present
  • Associate Editor, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2011 - Present
  • Director, Ingestive Behavior Research Center from Purdue University, 2009 - Present
  • Secretary, Rosemarie Pangborn Sensory Science Scholarship Fund, 2000 - Present


Eating is a behavior that is necessary, but difficult to manage for health promotion. Dysfunctional eating adversely affects the health of the majority of the global population. The overall aim of work in our group is to better understand the neural, genetic, metabolic, hormonal, cognitive, cultural and especially sensory influences on human ingestive behavior, nutrient utilization and energy balance in healthy and clinical populations. Our approaches range from naturalistic feeding studies to metabolic assessments. We are a member of the Ingestive Behavior Research Center (IBRC) at Purdue. 

Oral exposure to dietary fats influences the palatability of foods, their digestion and metabolism. Understanding of how fats are detected in the oral cavity is incomplete. Our lab has engaged in a systematic study of the physiology of oral fat detection and has yielded evidence that “fat” may be another basic taste quality, like sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness and umami. Further, fatty acid signaling in the oral cavity likely alters lipid processing. This holds implications for food product development (e.g., role of fat replacers), clinical practice (e.g., management of cardiovascular disease risk and dys- and phantogeusias), and public health policy (e.g., dietary recommendations). 

Appetitive sensations have inherent and leaned components. These sensations influence food choice, meal patterns and probably energy balance. However, the factors that modify them are poorly characterized. Current studies in our laboratory are exploring the roles of various properties of foods and beverages (e.g., energy density, volume, weight, sensory characteristics, rheology, fiber and macronutrient content) as well as human characteristics (e.g., personality traits, BMI status, physical activity patterns, sensory function) on these sensations. We are especially interested in rheological properties as findings from our group indicate that beverages elicit weaker satiety effects than solid foods and certain solid foods yield less energy than predicted from their digestion. We are also exploring the effects of various products with purported appetite enhancing or suppressive properties (e.g., nuts, antioxidants, irritants). A better understanding of these issues should aid in dietary management of body weight. 

Low calorie sweetener use in the population is high and growing. Debate over whether they are beneficial or harmful for weight management persists. How these compounds are detected in the oral cavity, their effects on carbohydrate digestion and metabolism and their greater impact of body weight are under study. Work is aimed at a better understanding of the effects of this class of compounds as well as differences between sweeteners.

There is increasing evidence of health benefits associated with nut consumption. However, nuts are energy dense and high in fat leading to concerns that recommendations to increase their consumption may exacerbate the global problem of overweight/obesity and its related complications. Work in our lab suggests nuts may not pose a threat to energy balance due to their high satiety value, inefficient absorption and possible stimulation of energy expenditure. They may be especially beneficial when consumed as a snack. We also find nuts attenuate acute and longer-term glycemia so may aid in management of impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes. We are exploring the role of nuts in a healthy diet to better understand the influence of consuming energy dense foods, generally, and nuts in particular, on energy balance and disease risk.

Discovery Publications

  • Higgins KA, Mattes RD.  A randomized controlled trial contrasting the effects of four low calorie sweeteners and sucrose on body weight in adults with overweight or obesity.  Am J Clin Nutr (in press).
  • McArthur BM, Considine RV, Mattes RD.  Mastication of nuts under realistic eating conditions:  Implications for energy balance.  Nutrients 2018  doi:  10.3390/nu100607102018;10:   PMID: 29865169
  • Higgins KA, Considine, RV, Mattes RD.  Aspartame consumption for 12 weeks does not effect glycemia, appetite or body weight of healthy, lean adults in a randomized controlled trial.  J Nutr 2018;148:650-657.
  • Mattes RD. Snacking: A cause for concern.  Physiol & Nutr 2018;193:279-283.
  • Mattes RD. The chemical senses and nutrition.  Nutrition 2018;55:S6-S7.  

  • Higgins KA, Hunter SR, Mattes RD. Sensory, gastric and enteroendocrine effects of carbohydrate, fat, and protein on appetite.  Current Opinion in Endocrine and Metabolic Research 2018 (in press).
  • Mattes RD. Editorial on Evidence on the ‘normalizing’ effect of reducing food portion sizes." Am J Clin Nutr 2018;107:501-503.
  • Dhillon J, Lee JX, Mattes RD. The Cephalic Phase Insulin Response to Nutritive and Low-Calorie Sweeteners in Solid and Beverage Form. Physiology & Behavior 2017; 181:100-109. NIHMSID: NIHMS907158
  • Garneau NL, Nuessle TM, Tucker RM, Yao M, Santorico SA, Mattes RD.  Taste responses to linoleic acid:  A crowdsourced population study.  Chem Senses 2017
  • Tucker RM, Kaiser KA, Parman MA, George BJ, Allison AB, Mattes RD.  Comparisons of Fatty Acid Taste Detection Thresholds in People Who Are Lean Vs. Overweight or Obese: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.  PLoS ONE
  • Running AC, Mattes RD.  A review of the Evidence Supporting the Taste of Non-Esterified Fatty Acids in Humans.  J Am Oil Chem Soc 2016;93:1325.
  • Carreiro AL, Dhillon J, Gordon S, Jacobs AG, Higgins KA, McArthur BM, Redan BW, Rivera RL, Schmidt LR, Mattes RD.  The macronutrients, appetite and energy intake, Annual Rev Nutr 2016;36:73-103.
  • Dhillon J, Tan SY, Mattes RD.  Effects of almond consumption on the post-lunch dip and short-term cognitive function in energy-restricted overweight and obese adults.  Br J Nutr 2017;117:395-402. 
  • Dhillon J, Craig BA, Leidy HJ, Amankwaah AF, Anguah KO, Jacobs AG, Jones BL, Jones J, Keeler CL, Keller CE, McCrory MA, Rivera RL, Slebodnik M, Mattes RD, Tucker RM, The effects of increased protein intake on fullness: a meta-analysis and its limitations.  J Acad Nutr Dietet 2016; 116:968-983.
  • Running CA, Craig BA, Mattes RD.  Oleogustus:  The unique taste of fat.  Chem Senses 2015 doi:10.1093/chemse/bjv036.
  • Tucker RM, Mattes RD, Running CA.  Mechanisms and effects of “fat Taste” in humans.  Biofactors 2014;40:313-326.  PMID:  24591077
  • Kaiser KA, Brown AW, Bohan Brown MM, Shikany JM, Mattes RD, Allison DB. (2014) Increased fruit and vegetable intake has no discernible effect of weight loss: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 100:567-576. 
  • Kulkarni BV, Mattes RD. (2014) Lingual lipase activity in the orosensory detection of fat in humans. Am J Physiol . 306:R879-R885. PMID: 24694384.
  • Cassady, B.A., Considine, R.V., and Mattes R.D. (2012) Beverage consumption, appetite, and energy intake: What did you expect?. Am J Clin Nutr. 95:587-593.
  • Houchins, J.A., Tan, S.Y., Campbell, W.W., and Mattes, R.D. (2012) Effects of fruit and vegetable, consumed in solid vs beverage forms, on acute and chronic appetitive responses in lean and obese adults. Int J Obes. 2012 Nov 20 [Epub ahead of print] doi:10.1038/ijo.2012.183 PMID 23164702.
  • Kant, A.K., Graubard, B.I., and Mattes, R.D. (2012) Association of food form with self-reported 24-hour energy intake and meal patterns in US adults, NHANES 2003-2008. Am J Clin Nutr. 96:1369-1378. PMID: 23097271.
  • Mattes, R.D. (2012) Spices and energy balance. Physiol & Behav. 107:584-590.
  • Ludy, M-J, Moore, G.E., and Mattes, R.D. (2011) The effects of capsaicin and capsiate on energy balance: critical review and meta-analyses of studies in humans. Chem Senses. 37(2):103-121. doi:10.1093/chemse/bjr100.
  • Houchins, J.A., Burgess, J.R., Campbell, W.W., and Mattes, R.D. (2011) Beverages and solid fruits and vegetables: Effects on energy intake and body weight. Obesity. 2012; 20:1844-1850.
  • Mattes, R.D. (2011) Accumulating evidence supports a taste component for free fatty acids in humans. Physiol & Behav. 104:624-631. PMID: 21557960.
  • Jauregui, R.C., Mattes, R.D., and Parks, E. J. (2010) Dynamics of fat absorption and effect of sham feeding on postprandial lipemia. Gastroenterology. 139:1538-1548.

Books, Chapters & Monograph Publications

  • McArthur BM, Higgins KA, Hunter SR, Mattes RD.  The energetics of nut consumption:  Oral processing, appetite, and energy balance.  In:  Sabate J., Salvado JS, Cesarettin A. (eds).  Health Benefits of Nuts and Dried Fruit. CRC Press/Taylor & Francis 2018; pp.317-332.
  • Lee J, Tucker RM, Tan S-Z, Running CA, Jones JB, Mattes RD.  Nutritional implications of taste and smell.  In Doty R. (ed).  Handbook of olfaction and gustation, third edition.  Wiley, Inc., New Jersey.  2015 Pp. 831-863.
  • Mattes RD, Ludy MJ.  Chemesthesis and Health. In:  Hayes J, McDonald S, Bolliet D (eds). Chemesthesis: The Sensations of Eating ­ Hot, Cold, Tingling, and Numbing, and How to Us Them in Food.  Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons 2016, Pp. 227-249.
  • Mattes, R.D. and Tan, S.-Z.. (2014) Obesity: The influence of the environment on ingestive behaviors. In: Handbook of obesity, Vol 1, Epidemiology, etiology, and pathophysiology, 3rd edition. Bray, G.A. and Bouchard, C Ed(s). Informa Books, London, UK.
  • Lee, J., Tucker, R.M., Tan, S.-Z., Running, C.A., Jones, J.B., and Mattes, R.D. (2015) Nutritional implications of taste and smell. In: Handbook of olfaction and gustation, 3rd edition. Doty, R. Ed(s). Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, NY.
  • Mattes, R. and Tan, S.-Z.. (2013) Snacking and energy balance in humans. In: Nutrition in the Prevention and Treatment of Disease. Coulston, A., Boushey, C., Ferruzzi, M Ed(s). Elsevier, San Diego, CA.
  • Mattes, R.D. (2010) Fat taste in humans: is it a primary?. In: Fat Detection: Taste, Texture, and Post Ingestive Effects. Montmayeur, J.P. and le Coutre, J Ed(s). Pp.167-193. CRC Press, State/Country. Frontiers in Neuroscience.


NUTR 53400 Human Sensory Systems and Food Evaluation: Principles and methods for evaluation of the sensory properties of foods and sensory capabilities of humans. Offered Fall (odd years).
NUTR 59000 A journey through the GI tract.  Offered Spring (even years)
NUTR 61600 Special Topics: Advanced seminar on topics related to ingestive behavior. Offered Spring (even years).
NUTR 61700 Ingestive Behavior Seminar. Offered Fall term (even years).
NUTR 64000 Human Feeding: Critical review of the genetic, neural, metabolic, endocrine, sensory, cognitive, and cultural determinants of appetite, food selection, and energy balance. Offered Fall (even years).

Learning Publications

  • Martens Ea, Mattes Rd, Westerterp-Plantenga MSA  In:  Bergeron N, Siri-Tarino P, Bray GA, Krauss RM (eds), Nutrition and Cariometaboic health. CRC Press: New York. 2018;pp317-332.
  • Mattes RD. (2014) Appetite: Measurement and management. In: Nutrition for the primary care provider. Bier D, Mann J, Alpers D, Gibney M Ed(s). S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland.
  • Cassady, B.A. and Mattes, R.D. (2010) Taste sensation: Influences on human ingestive behaviors. In: Nutrition Guide for Physicians. Struble, M.B Ed(s). Pp.159-168. Humana Press, City, NJ. 
  • Mattes, R.D. and Hollis, J.H. (2008) Research methods in appetite assessment. In: Research: Successful Approaches.. Monson, E.R. and Van Horn, L Ed(s). Pp.267-278. American Dietetic Association/Diana Faulhaber Pub.
  • Mattes, R.D. and Cowart, B.J. (2008) Research methods for human sensory system analysis and food evaluation. In: Research: Successful Approaches. Monson, E.R. and Van Horn, L Ed(s). Pp.249-266. American Dietetic Association/Diana Faulhaber Pub.
  • Mattes, R.D. (2003) Research methods for human sensory systems and food evaluation. In: Research: Successful Approaches. Monson, E.R. Ed(s). Pp.270-287. American Dietetic Association/Diana Faulhaber.

Richard (Rick) Mattes

Distinguished Professor

Office: STON 212
Phone: 765.494.0662
Fax: 765.494.0674

Department of Nutrition Science, 700 W. State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2059 (765) 494-8228, Fax: (765) 494-0674

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