Imagine Food Aromas That Prevent Overeating

Scientists working on edibles that will signal fullness just by chewing

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MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- It may be possible to create foods with hunger-suppressing aromas that would offer a new way to fight overeating and obesity, Dutch scientists say.

Researchers have long attempted to develop foods that could trigger or increase the feeling of fullness and, until recently, have focused on the effects of food in the stomach after it was swallowed, Rianne Ruijschop and colleagues said in a news release.

But efforts now include examination of foods that release hunger-quenching aromas while they're being chewed. It's known that food aromas consist of molecules that activate areas of the brain that signal fullness.

In this study, Ruijschop's team found that aroma release during chewing does contribute to feeling full and possibly to a person's decision to stop eating. This suggests a number of applications, including developing foods that release more aroma during chewing, or developing aromas that are more powerful in triggering feelings of fullness.

The study appears in the current issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases explains portion control.

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