Chemosensory Perception

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 1–9 | Cite as

A Comparative Study on Facially Expressed Emotions in Response to Basic Tastes

  • Wender L. P. Bredie
  • Hui Shan Grace Tan
  • Karin Wendin


Facially expressed emotions play a role in communication between individuals. They form another means of expressing oneself besides verbal expressions or self-reporting of feelings and perceptions on psychometric scales and are implicit in nature. This study aimed to evaluate the extent and specificity of evoking facial expressed emotions by basic tastes and to evaluate if facially expressed emotions provide additional information to explicit measures. The emotions were characterised upon tasting the five basic tastes in aqueous solutions at three different concentrations levels. The sensory and emotional responses reported were obtained from a 21-membered taste panel. Facial reactions and facially expressed emotions depended on the taste quality and taste intensity. However, the facially expressed emotions were generally weak even for the relatively strong taste intensities. Bitter (caffeine), sour (citric acid) and salty (sodium chloride) lead to clear disgust and surprise responses, whereas, sweet (sucrose) and umami (glutamic acid monosodium salt) taste gave weakly noticeable facially expressed emotions. Although correlations between the expressed emotions and hedonic responses were observed, the affective experience had a limited predictive ability for the facially expressed emotion at the individual level. In conclusion, psychometric rating of the hedonic response is easier to assess than facially expressed emotions although it may not completely represent the dimensions of the emotional experience.


Sensory perception Facial expression Emotion Basic taste 



Bodil Allesen-Holm is greatly thanked for the technical assistance in data management.

Compliance with Ethics Requirements

Conflict of Interest

Wender L. P. Bredie declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Hui Shan Grace Tan declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Karin Wendin declares that she has no conflict of interest.

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2008 (5). Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.


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Copyright information

© European Union 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wender L. P. Bredie
    • 1
  • Hui Shan Grace Tan
    • 1
  • Karin Wendin
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Food Science, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.SP Technical Research Institute of SwedenLundSweden
  3. 3.Food and Meal ScienceKristianstad UniversityKristianstadSweden

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