Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Psychology


This study has attempted to find if there is a relationship between taste sensitivity (perception) and taste preferences (responses) for vegetables. Using a survey of thirty-seven vegetables, four tastants and four vegetables and their juices, one hundred and thirty-seven participants both tasted and completed:

a vegetable survey and two semantic differentials with one rating sheet for each of the four vegetables.

Sensitivity levels were ascertained using sucrose, NaCl, Q2SO4 and HCl. The results of these tests indicated that there was a positive relationship between the participant's perception of the taste for peas, carrots, capsicum and asparagus and their level of taste sensitivity for one or more of the 'four basic tastes'. Specifically, there was an increased preference for vegetable juices and a different perception of the taste of the juice when compared to the vegetable when sensitive to Quinine or HCl, and when sensitive to all 'four basic tastes' perceptions and preferences for the four vegetables significantly differed with those not sensitive. Sucrose sensitivity did not influence taste preferences. Men and women were found to have significantly different levels of preference for vegetables, and different perceptions of the taste and texture qualities of the four vegetables.