The influence of herbs, spices, and regular sausage and chicken consumption on liking of reduced fat breakfast and lunch items

Academic Article


  • © 2014 Institute of Food Technologists®. Adults often consume more fat than is recommended. We examined factors that may improve liking of reduced fat and reduced saturated fat foods, including the addition of herbs and spices and habitual consumption of different high-fat and low-fat food items. We randomized adults to taste 3 different conditions: full fat (FF), reduced fat with no added spice (RF), and reduced fat plus spice (RFS). Subjects rated their liking of French toast, sausage and the overall meal, or chicken, vegetables, pasta, and the overall meal on a 9-point hedonic Likert scale. Overall liking of the RF breakfast and lunch meals were lower than the FF and RFS versions (breakfast: 6.50 RF compared with 6.84 FF, P = 0.0061; 6.50 RF compared with 6.82 RFS, P = 0.0030; lunch: 6.35 RF compared with 6.94 FF, P < 0.0001; 6.35 RF compared with 6.71 RFS, P = 0.0061). RFS and FF breakfast and lunch meals, French toast, chicken, and vegetable likings were similar. FF and RFS conditions were liked more than RF for the breakfast and lunch meals, French toast, chicken entrée, and vegetables. Liking of all 3 sausage conditions was similar. FF pasta was liked more than RFS and RF (7.47 FF compared with 6.42 RFS, P < 0.0001; 7.47 FF compared with 6.47 RF, P < 0.0001). Habitual consumption of roasted chicken was associated with reduced liking of FF chicken (r = -0.23, P = 0.004) and FF pasta (r = -0.23, P = 0.005). Herbs and spices may be useful for improving the liking of lower fat foods and helping Americans maintain a diet consistent with the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. Practical Application: Americans consume more fat than is recommended in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This study shows that you can take foods like French toast, chicken, or a vegetable side and cut the fat and calories by up to 50% while restoring flavor with herbs and spices. People typically use butter, cheese, or fatty meat to enhance the flavor of their food. We found that even when we reduced the fat in our meals by using lower fat dairy and meat products but then added herbs and spices, we were able to deliver the flavor people desire for a fraction of the calories.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Polsky S; Beck J; Stark RA; Pan Z; Hill JO; Peters JC
  • Start Page

  • S2117
  • End Page

  • S2126
  • Volume

  • 79
  • Issue

  • 10