Purpose: To obtain validated clinical values suitable for developing a gustatory function test, including umami taste, in a Korean population. Materials and Methods: The investigation involved 297 participants with self-reported normal sense of taste and smell. Liquid solutions were used for the assessment of gustatory function. The test consisted of 30 taste solutions [six concentrations of five tastants (sweet, bitter, salty, sour, and umami)]. For evaluation of overall gustatory function, the number of detected or correctly recognized taste thresholds was combined to form a “taste score.” Results: Mean values of each detection and recognition threshold for the five tastes in men were consistently lower than those of women. The 10th percentile of taste score for recognition was used as the cut-off value for distinguishing normogeusia from hypogeusia. In subgroup analysis, total taste score from recognition thresholds revealed a significant negative correlation with age, indicating lower scores for increasing age. Taste score for non-smokers was significantly higher than that of smokers, in terms of detection and recognition of taste sensitivities. Conclusion: This gustatory function test was easy to perform, affordable, and time-saving, with the capacity to self-produce and obtain reliable data. Gustatory function was more sensitive in young people, women, and non-smokers.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
C.H. Kim received funding from Basic Science Research Program through National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by Ministry of Education (2015R1D1A1A02062228) and Bio & Medical Technology Development Program of NRF, funded by Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (2016M3A9D5A01952414). C.H. Kim was also supported by NRF Grant funded by the Korean Government (MSIP) (2016R1A5A2008630), Yonsei University Future-leading Research Initiative of 2015 (2015-22-0114).
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