3.10 Conclusion: The development of mechanisms that simultaneously protect and nourish an organism within a particular environment is key to survival, and these mechanisms represent an important Darwinian selective pressure. The ability of organisms to learn from their surroundings and to improve their biochemical responses to that environment is becoming increasingly well established as forms of imprinting and metabolic memory. Within this context, the development of olfactory preferences is a vivid example of acquired memories. Food is not only a source of nutrients, but also the chemicals that elicit characteristic volatile aromas and lead to preferences for particular food choices. Ideally, the memories formed in response to exposures to diets enhance an individual's ability to succeed in a particular environment, including the available foods. However, the failure of modern diets to deliver increasing health to the entire population is testament to the inability of all humans to match food choices to optimal nutritional requirements in all environments and lifestyles. The ability to reformulate food commodities and foods with widely varying nutritional and flavour properties has the potential to both confound and enhance the processes of flavour preference and food choice. Enhancing food choices based on flavour preferences will require an understanding of precisely how flavour preferences are developed. The tools to simultaneously measure aroma exposure, aroma perception and metabolic responses to foods are at hand. Bringing these tools to practice and joining the fields of flavour science, nutrition and metabolic assessment into a new era of personalised diet and health is an attractive possibility.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)