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  • Michael Bom Først. Photo by Jonas Drotner Mouritsen.
    Michael Bom Først. Photo by Jonas Drotner Mouritsen.

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Taste for Life presented three research projects about taste at international conference 

Article All three research projects examine how children’s taste preferences change. 

Three Taste for Life research projects were introduced at the Pangborn conference 2019. At the conference, the world’s leading scientists within sensory science were gathered. The conference took place in Edinburgh, Scotland, from July 28 to August 1 2019. 

The three projects study children’s taste preferences:

Develop pupils’ taste for fish in home economics 

PhD-student Rikke Højer introduced her project about children’s taste for fish. In this project, Rikke developed a lesson plan about fish to be used in home economics. By following the lesson plan, the pupils get to know the Danish fish through different aesthetic experiences and sensory and participatory activities. Rikke examined how children work and taste in these home economics classes.

During the lessons, the pupils had the experience of becoming better at preparing fish. Now it is time to examine what knowledge and food qualifications the pupils have developed, in addition to the skills of fish preparation. 

The lesson plan is available for free in Taste for Life’s teaching app (in Danish). 

Children prefer mealworms rather than locusts 

Michael Bom Frøst presented his results from the big insect tasting that he arranged with Taste for Life at Forskningens Døgn in 2018. 148 pupils examined, prepared and tasted mealworms and locusts. 

The preliminary results indicate that children prefer mealworms rather than locusts, that they like the insects most the first time they tasted them compared to the second time, and that the children’s participation in the preparation of the insects did not change their opinion on the taste. 

Children suffering from cancer lose the desire to eat 

Annemarie Olsen presented her results about how cancer affects children’s taste experiences and preferences.

Children in cancer treatment have, in general, less inclination to eat. But new studies of 4-16-year old children show that this lack of inclination to eat is not caused by changes in sensitivity of the five senses. 

Mentioned in the article

Senior lecturer, MSc, chef, PhD student

Rikke Højer Nielsen was part of Taste for Life's Science of Cooking focus area 2014 - 2018. With Taste for Life she was conducting a PhD-study on children’s taste learning.

Associate Professor, PhD

Associate Professor, PhD, University of Copenhagen.

Michael Bom Frøst is an associate professor in sensory science at the University of Copenhagen and the former director of Nordic Food Lab, a non-profit organization that investigates food diversity and deliciousness.

Foto: Robert Elkjær.

Associate Professor, PhD

Associate Professor, PhD, University of Copenhagen

Annemarie Olsen is a member of Taste for Life’s management and part of the focus area Science of Cooking. Her research relates to human eating behavior in the area of sensory and consumer research, primarily focusing on children. Main topics are food preferences and intervention strategies.

She is also Head of Studies for the MSc programme in Food Innovation and Health at the University of Copenhagen.