This was to validate a taste test on healthy school children. A cross-sectional study was designed to perform
a standardised clinical evaluation of the gustatory sensitivity.
Forty (18 males and 22 females)
children were selected. Inclusion criteria were age between 5 and 12 years, absence of systemic disease and no antibiotic
treatment in the last six months. The taste assessment tests were performed following a standardised protocol, repeated at
two different intervals: a) tested at time 0; b) tested after 20-30 days. Tests were performed using a pipette with the sample
solution: sucrose, sodium chloride, citric acid and quinine hydrochloride at different concentrations. The examiner reported
in a grid the flavour perceived by the subject. A placebo (tap water) was administered in between the flavours
majority of the subjects detected the bitter taste at the lowest concentration (mean=1.83). The sour taste was detected with the
second concentration (mean=2.56). The sweet solution was detected with the most diluted concentration (mean=1.56). The
salty taste has a threshold of 2 (mean=2.04), which means that the majority of subjects detected the salty solution with the
second concentration. Regarding the perceived intensity, it increases with the increasing concentrations and it reaches
maximum values that are inversely proportional to the threshold, corresponding to the second concentration. Moreover, no
statistically significant gender differences were detected regarding the threshold values or the perceived intensity.
The proposed test allows for a controlled, reliable and standardised evaluation of the gustatory
Vol.13 – n.2/2012
Harvard: A. Majorana, G. Campus, S. Anedda, G. Piana, M. Boss, M. G. Cagetti, G. Conti, G. D'Alessandro (2012) "Development and validation of a Taste Sensitivity Test in a group of healthy children", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 13(2), pp147-150. doi:
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