Derek J Snyder

University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States

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Publications (32)70.01 Total impact

  • No preview · Conference Paper · Sep 2015
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    ABSTRACT: The hedonic 9-point scale was designed to compare palatability among different food items; however, it has also been used occasionally to compare individuals and groups. Such comparisons can be invalid because scale labels (for example, "like extremely") can denote systematically different hedonic intensities across some groups. Addressing this problem, the hedonic general Labeled Magnitude Scale (gLMS) frames affective experience in terms of the strongest imaginable liking/disliking of any kind, which can yield valid group comparisons of food palatability provided extreme hedonic experiences are unrelated to food. For each scale, 200 panelists rated affect for remembered food products (including favorite and least favorite foods) and sampled foods; they also sampled taste stimuli (quinine, sucrose, NaCl, citric acid) and rated their intensity. Finally, subjects identified experiences representing the endpoints of the hedonic gLMS. Both scales were similar in their ability to detect within-subject hedonic differences across a range of food experiences, but group comparisons favored the hedonic gLMS. With the 9-point scale, extreme labels were strongly associated with extremes in food affect. In contrast, gLMS data showed that scale extremes referenced nonfood experiences. Perceived taste intensity significantly influenced differences in food liking/disliking (for example, those experiencing the most intense tastes, called supertasters, showed more extreme liking and disliking for their favorite and least favorite foods). Scales like the hedonic gLMS are suitable for across-group comparisons of food palatability.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Journal of Food Science
  • Chapter: Taste
    Linda M. Bartoshuk · Derek J. Snyder
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    ABSTRACT: Rozin coined the phrase “the omnivore’s dilemma” to encapsulate what an omnivore must do to survive: avoid toxins and take in nutritious food. This chapter is organized to show what is known about how taste contributes to this biological imperative. We begin with the anatomy and physiology of taste and show how nature uses chemosensory pleasure (liking for beneficial substances and disliking for dangerous ones) to promote survival. One of the most important distinctions for this area is between hard-wired and learned affect. Historically, belief in hard-wired affect has often given way to understanding how learning accomplished what seemed to be hard-wired.
    No preview · Chapter · Nov 2013
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the distribution of the perceived intensity of salt, sweet, sour, and bitter in a large population and to investigate factors associated with perceived taste intensity. Cross-sectional population. Subjects (n = 2,374; mean age, 48.8 years) were participants in the Beaver Dam Offspring Study examined during 2005 to 2008. Perceived taste intensity was measured using paper disks and a general labeled magnitude scale. Multiple linear regression was performed. Mean intensity ratings were: salt = 27.2 (standard deviation [SD] = 18.5), sweet = 20.4 (SD = 15.0), sour = 35.7 (SD = 21.4), and bitter = 49.6 (SD = 23.3). Females and those with less than a college degree education rated tastes stronger. With adjustment for age, sex, and education, stronger perceived sour and bitter intensities were related to current smoking (sour: B = 2.8, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.4 to 5.2; bitter: B = 2.8, 95% CI, 0.3 to 5.4) and lipid-lowering medications (sour: B = 5.1, 95% CI, 2.5 to 7.6; bitter: B = 3.2, 95% CI, 0.6 to 5.8). Alcohol consumption in the past year was related to weaker salt (B = −2.8, 95% CI, −5.3 to −0.3) and sweet intensity ratings (B = −2.3, 95% CI, −4.3 to −0.3), whereas olfactory impairment was associated with higher sweet ratings (B = 4.7, 95% CI, 1.4 to 7.9). Perceived intensities were strongest for bitter and weakest for sweet. Sex and education were associated with each taste, whereas age did not demonstrate a consistent relationship. Associations with other factors differed by tastants, with current smoking and alcohol consumption being related to some tastes. 2b.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2013 · The Laryngoscope
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    ABSTRACT: Otitis media and tonsillectomy are associated with enhanced palatability of energy dense foods and with weight gain. Otitis media can damage the chorda tympani nerve (CN VII); tonsillectomy and head and neck radiation treatment can damage the glossopharyngeal nerve (CN IX). Both of these nerves function prominently in taste sensation. The present study utilizes these sources of damage to study central interactions among the nerves that mediate oral sensations. Mild damage restricted to one of these nerves can actually intensify sensations evoked from undamaged nerves (i.e., whole-mouth taste, oral tactile sensations evoked by fats and irritants). These intensifications may result from disruption of central inhibitory taste circuits, as taste damage appears to disinhibit other oral sensory nerves. In addition, mild damage restricted to one taste nerve can intensify odors perceived from foods in the mouth during chewing and swallowing (i.e., retronasal olfaction); this may be a secondary consequence of the intensification of whole-mouth taste. Damage to both nerves leads to widespread oral sensory loss. At present, the link between sensory alterations and weight gain has not been established for adults (e.g., does increased fat preference occur in individuals with oral sensory intensifications, those with losses, or both?). Finally, pain in non-oral locations is also related to taste loss. When participants rated "the most intense pain of any kind they had ever experienced," those with the greatest taste loss gave the highest ratings. These effects suggest that taste loss significantly influences long-term health outcomes.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Physiology & Behavior
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Standard clinical advice for the prevention and treatment of hypertension includes limitation of salt intake. Previous studies of the association between perception of salt taste and hypertension prevalence have not reported consistent results and have usually been conducted in small study populations. PURPOSE: To determine the cross-sectional relationship between intensity of salt taste, discretionary salt use, and hypertension. METHODS: Subjects (n=2371, mean age=48.8 years) were participants in the Beaver Dam Offspring Study (BOSS), an investigation of sensory loss and aging conducted in 2005-2008. Salt taste intensity was measured using a filter paper disk impregnated with 1.0 M sodium chloride and a general Labeled Magnitude Scale (gLMS). Hypertension was defined as systolic blood pressure ≥ 140 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure ≥ 90 mmHg, or use of high blood pressure medication. RESULTS: Nearly 32% of the participants rated the salt disk as weak or having no taste while approximately 10% considered it to be very strong or stronger. The intensity was reported to be less strong by males (P < 0.001) and college graduates (P = 0.02) and was inversely associated with frequency of adding salt to foods (P = 0.02). There was no significant association between hypertension and the intensity of salt taste, before and after adjustment for covariates. Exclusion of subjects with a history of physician diagnosed hypertension did not appreciably alter these findings. CONCLUSIONS: The perception of salt taste was related to the frequency of discretionary salt use but not to hypertension status or mean blood pressure.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Chemosensory Perception
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    ABSTRACT: Although human perception of food flavors involves integration of multiple sensory inputs, the most salient sensations are taste and olfaction. Ortho- and retronasal olfaction are particularly crucial to flavor because they provide the qualitative diversity so important to identify safe versus dangerous foods. Historically, flavor research has prioritized aroma volatiles present at levels exceeding the orthonasally measured odor threshold, ignoring the variation in the rate at which odor intensities grow above threshold. Furthermore, the chemical composition of a food in itself tells us very little about whether or not that food will be liked. Clearly, alternative approaches are needed to elucidate flavor chemistry. Here we use targeted metabolomics and natural variation in flavor-associated sugars, acids, and aroma volatiles to evaluate the chemistry of tomato fruits, creating a predictive and testable model of liking. This nontraditional approach provides novel insights into flavor chemistry, the interactions between taste and retronasal olfaction, and a paradigm for enhancing liking of natural products. Some of the most abundant volatiles do not contribute to consumer liking, whereas other less abundant ones do. Aroma volatiles make contributions to perceived sweetness independent of sugar concentration, suggesting a novel way to increase perception of sweetness without adding sugar.
    Full-text · Article · May 2012 · Current biology: CB
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    V.B. Duffy · J.E. Hayes · L.M. Bartoshuk · D.J. Snyder
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    ABSTRACT: Narrowly viewed, taste is limited to sweet, salt, sour, bitter, and umami (meaty, savory) sensations. Colloquially, taste refers to sensations from foods and beverages, where taste combines with other sensory inputs to produce complex sensations. Recent progress in psychophysics - the study of relationships between physical stimuli and the perceptions they induce - permits the characterization of normal variation and variation associated with aging or damage. Appropriate methods are needed to fully understand genetic, molecular, and neurochemical processes involved in taste sensation. Via psychophysics, we can measure how taste variation influences food preference and intake and ultimately our health and quality of life.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2010
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    ABSTRACT: Taste or gustatory function may play an important role in determining diet and nutritional status and therefore indirectly impact health. Yet there have been few attempts to study the spectrum of taste function and dysfunction in human populations. Epidemiologic studies are needed to understand the impact of taste function and dysfunction on public health, to identify modifiable risk factors, and to develop and test strategies to prevent clinically significant dysfunction. However, measuring taste function in epidemiologic studies is challenging and requires repeatable, efficient methods that can measure change over time. Insights gained from translating laboratory-based methods to a population-based study, the Beaver Dam Offspring Study (BOSS) will be shared. In this study, a generalized labeled magnitude scale (gLMS) method was used to measure taste intensity of filter paper disks saturated with salt, sucrose, citric acid, quinine, or 6-n-propylthiouracil, and a gLMS measure of taste preferences was administered. In addition, a portable, inexpensive camera system to capture digital images of fungiform papillae and a masked grading system to measure the density of fungiform papillae were developed. Adult children of participants in the population-based Epidemiology of Hearing Loss Study in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, are eligible for this ongoing study. The parents were residents of Beaver Dam and 43-84 years of age in 1987-1988; offspring ranged in age from 21-84 years in 2005-2008. Methods will be described in detail and preliminary results about the distributions of taste function in the BOSS cohort will be presented.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2009 · Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
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    Derek J Snyder · Linda M Bartoshuk
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    ABSTRACT: Efforts to quantify the public health impact of chemosensation present significant challenges, including a strong need for testing methods suitable for field assessment. This discussion highlights several promising approaches to the population-based study of taste function; it also identifies key principles that should be considered when adapting laboratory-based taste tests for field use.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2009 · Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

  • No preview · Article · Jun 2009 · Appetite
  • D.J. Snyder · V.B. Duffy · J.E. Hayes · L.M. Bartoshuk
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    ABSTRACT: Genetic variability in oral sensory perception affects the sensory properties of food and other ingested items (e.g., tobacco smoke, alcohol). Variation in sensation leads to variation in food preferences and intake, which affects risks for disorders involving diet; variation in alcohol consumption and smoking affects risk factors for additional disorders. Thus the discovery more than 70 years ago of taste blindness to PTC and PROP triggered an array of modern studies that have important implications for long-term health.
    No preview · Chapter · Dec 2008
  • D. J. Snyder · L. M. Bartoshuk

    No preview · Article · Sep 2008 · Appetite
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    ABSTRACT: We live in different taste worlds thanks to genetic and pathological influences. Individuals are born with varying numbers of fungiform papillae (i.e., structures that house taste buds), and those with the most fungiform papillae (i.e., supertasters) experience the most intense taste sensations. For example, supertasters experience roughly three times the sweetness experienced by those with the fewest fungiform papillae (i.e., nontasters). Since fungiform papillae receive touch and pain as well as taste innervation, supertasters also perceive the most intense sensations from oral tactile stimuli (e.g., fats) and oral irritants (e.g., chili peppers). Taste sensation is vulnerable to damage from multiple sources, including dental work, ear infection, head injury, and the use of certain drugs (e.g., antibiotics). Because taste normally inhibits non-taste oral sensations centrally, taste damage can intensify these sensations via disinhibition. These alterations affect food/beverage palatability and thus have commercial and health implications.
    No preview · Chapter · Mar 2008
  • L.M. Bartoshuk · S.E. Marino · D.J. Snyder
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    ABSTRACT: Hormonal variation affects bitter taste; bitterness varies with the menstrual cycle, rises in early pregnancy and falls after menopause. Less is known about hormonal effects on sweet taste, but we observed that sweetness varies more among pre-menopausal women than among men, which suggests variation with the menstrual cycle (SSIB, 1997). Here we expand that observation to sweet taste and food/beverage hedonics across the lifespan. Attendees at lectures (N=4212, ages 18–90) rated the sweetness of a piece of candy and the bitterness of 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) using the general Labeled Magnitude Scale (gLMS); variability was assessed from the regression of sweetness on bitterness, thereby accounting for effects of taster status. Although the sweetness of the candy did not change with age, sweetness ratings were more variable for women of child-bearing age than for same-aged men. Attendees also rated their liking for 26 foods and beverages (including sugar) on a hedonic version of the gLMS that assesses liking for foods in the context of all hedonic experience. Liking for sugar (and for sweets in general) declined with age, with women showing more rapid decline. However, ratings for high-fat foods rose with age for both sexes. The maximum, minimum and average hedonic ratings from each age cohort provide an estimate of how food palatability changes over time. The maximum rating did not change with age, but the minimum and average ratings rose. This generalized increase in food liking may contribute to the increase in body mass observed with advancing age (DC 00283).
    No preview · Article · Jul 2007 · Appetite
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    ABSTRACT: Psychophysical comparisons seem to show that obese individuals experience normal sweet and fat sensations, they like sweetness the same or less, but like fat more than the non-obese do. These psychophysical comparisons have been made using scales (visual analogue or category) that assume intensity labels (e.g. extremely) which denote the same absolute perceived intensity to all. In reality, the perceived intensities denoted by labels vary because they depend on experiences with the substances to be judged. This variation makes comparisons invalid. Valid comparisons can be made by asking the subjects to rate their sensory/hedonic experiences in contexts that are not related to the specific experiences of interest. Using this methodology, we present the evidence that the sensory and hedonic properties of sweet and fat vary with body mass index. The obese live in different orosensory and orohedonic worlds than do the non-obese; the obese experience reduced sweetness, which probably intensifies fat sensations, and the obese like both sweet and fat more than the non-obese do. Genetic variation as well as taste pathology contribute to these results. These psychophysical advances will impact experimental as well as clinical studies of obesity and other eating disorders.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2006 · Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences
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    Derek J Snyder · John Prescott · Linda M Bartoshuk
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    ABSTRACT: Psychophysical measures attempt to capture and compare subjective experiences objectively. In the chemical senses, these techniques have been instrumental in describing relationships between oral sensation and health risk, but they are often used incorrectly to make group comparisons. This chapter reviews contemporary methods of oral sensory assessment, with particular emphasis on suprathreshold scaling. We believe that these scales presently offer the most realistic picture of oral sensory function, but only when they are used correctly. Using converging methods from psychophysics, anatomy, and genetics, we demonstrate valid uses of modern chemosensory testing in clinical diagnosis and intervention.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2006 · Advances in oto-rhino-laryngology
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    Linda M. Bartoshuk · Katharine Fast · Derek J. Snyder
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    ABSTRACT: People use intensity descriptors to compare sensory differences: “This tastes strong to me; is it strong to you?” These comparisons are deceptive because they assume that intensity descriptors like strong denote the same absolute perceived intensities to everyone. This assumption is false. Visual-analogue and category scales are labeled with intensity descriptors, and whenever there are systematic differences across groups in the absolute perceived intensity denoted by these descriptors, across-group comparisons will be invalid. We have explored this problem using studies of taste perception. When intensity descriptors are falsely assumed to have universal meaning, real differences can be blunted, abolished, or reversed. One solution to this problem is to express sensations of interest relative to an unrelated standard; any variation in this standard will be equivalent across groups, allowing valid group comparisons. The importance of detecting and correcting these measurement errors is not limited to sensory comparisons, but applies to hedonic comparisons as well.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2005 · Current Directions in Psychological Science
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    Full-text · Article · Feb 2005 · Chemical Senses
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    ABSTRACT: Results: PROP bitterness varied significantly across genotypes with repeated measures ANOVA: 26 AVI/AVI homozygotes tasted less bitterness than either 37 PAV/AVI heterozygotes or 21 PAV/PAV homozygotes. The PAV/PAV group exceeded the PAV/AVI group for bitterness only for the top PROP concentrations. The elevated bitterness was musch less than if we defined the groups using psychophysical criteria. With multiple regression analyses, greater bitterness from 3.2 mM PROP was a significant predictor of greater ethanol intensity and less alcohol intake—effects separate from age and sex. Genotype was a significant predictor of alcohol intake, but not ethanol intensity. With ANOVA, AVI/AVI homozygotes reported higher alcohol use than either PAV/AVI heterozygotes or PAV/PAV homozygotes. When age effects were minimized, PROP bitterness explained more variance in alcohol intake than did the TAS2R38 genotype.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2004 · Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research

Publication Stats

1k Citations
70.01 Total Impact Points


  • 2007-2014
    • University of Florida
      • College of Dentistry
      Gainesville, Florida, United States
  • 2012
    • San Diego State University
      San Diego, California, United States
  • 2008-2009
    • Yale University
      New Haven, Connecticut, United States
    • Maastricht University
      • Department of Human Biology
      Maestricht, Limburg, Netherlands
  • 2003-2006
    • Yale-New Haven Hospital
      New Haven, Connecticut, United States
  • 2000
    • Florida State University
      • Department of Psychology
      Tallahassee, Florida, United States