MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Director, Cornell Sensory Evaluation Facility
Department of Food Science
Ithaca, NY 14853
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: The study arose from a previous paper I authored in the Journal of Neuroscience, where we found Adenosine receptors in taste. We managed to prove that they were there to amplify sweet signals. This led us to wonder, what about the foods we consume, that would come into contact with these receptors in taste buds.
It just happens that a lot of us habitually consume a powerful blocker of adenosine receptors every morning. Caffeine. So is our coffee impairing sweet signals? It turns out when we gave people sweetened coffee containing caffeine, they judged it as less sweet than the same coffee without the caffeine, sampled on a different day. Interestingly, this persisted, and sweet solutions they tested afterwards were still a little less sweet.
Finally, just for kicks, we asked them to rate how much caffeine they thought was in either coffee, and how much more alert it made them feel. Turns out, there was no difference. They couldn’t tell which was deacf, and either coffee gave them just as much of an alertness boost.