Med. Weter. 74 (4), 261-265, 2018

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Małgorzata Gomółka-Pawlicka, Joanna Wojtacka, Beata Wysok, Agnieszka Wiszniewska-Łaszczych, Joanna Szteyn, Mieczysław Radkowski
Assessment of the ability of taste determination by polish veterinarians - Veterinary Inspectors
The sense of taste plays an important role in people evaluating sensory quality of food. Nowadays, an increasing demand is put on the profession of veterinary surgeon and especially a veterinary inspector. It is related to the condition of the senses, which are necessary for the proper performance of various control or research activities. The aim of the study was to evaluate the ability of taste determination by Polish veterinary inspectors and to determine the extent to which sex, age and smoking influence the results. The study was carried out on 246 veterinarians (136 females and 110 males) aged 27 to 60 who were divided into two age groups. The younger group (≤35 years) consisted of 86 women and 71 men, and the older one (> 35 years) consisted of 50 women and 39 men. The non-smokers and smokers accounted for 61.38% and 38.62% of the respondents respectively. The study was conducted before the noon in a sensory laboratory conforming to the requirements of PN ISO 8589 (Sensory Analysis - General Guidance For The Design Of Test Rooms). A test to verify the ability to recognize and distinguish the tastes, according to PN ISO 3972 (Sensory analysis. Methodology. Method of investigating sensitivity of taste) was used. The veterinarians evaluated 10 tastes (aqueous solutions of 6 standard substances representing sweet, salty, sour, bitter, umami and metallic flavors and water) orally. The samples were slowly examined, taking about 15-20 ml of solution, which was then removed to the spitton. The test was performed twice; better results were analyzed for gender, age and smoking. Statistical analysis of the test results was performed using Statistica 10 PL program. The results obtained show that 48.53% of women and 31.82% of men examined recognized correctly more than half of the taste samples, with 13.2% of women correctly diagnosing ≥90% of the samples, while 1.47% did not recognize them at all. In men the values were 3.64% and 10.91% respectively. The proportion of samples correctly diagnosed by non-smokers (women and men altogether) was 21.98% higher than by smokers. The average number of correctly recognized taste samples in non-smoking women and men was significantly higher (p≤0.05) than in smokers of the same sex. The highest mean number of correct recognitions (6.4 ± 2.3) was found in younger non-smoking women and the lowest (2.6 ± 2.4) in smoking men over 35 years of age. The results obtained in younger age group were better than those from the older group. However the differences were statistically significant (p≤0.05) only in non-smoking women. The best recognized tastes were: sweet, sour and salty. Clearly lower recognition was found in the case of umami taste and the lowest for bitter and metallic taste. The women were more likely than men to recognize taste categories, and the percentage of correct recognitions of salty, sour and umami tastes was significantly higher in women than in men (p≤0.05)..
Key words: sensory sensitivity, taste, veterinarians