Fetuses like carrots but not leafy green veggies, as seen by their expressions, according to a new research released Thursday.
The results, announced by researchers at Durham University in northeast England, are the first concrete proof that newborns react differently to distinct scents and tastes before birth.
A group of experts examined 4D ultrasound pictures of 100 pregnant women and observed that newborns exposed to carrot tastes had “laughing-face” reactions.
Those who were exposed to kale tastes, on the other hand, displayed stronger “cry-face” reactions.
“A number of studies have suggested that babies can taste and smell in the womb, but they are based on post-birth outcomes while our study is the first to see these reactions prior to birth.” said lead postgraduate researcher Beyza Ustun.
“As a result, we think that this repeated exposure to flavors before birth could help to establish food preferences post-birth, which could be important when thinking about messaging around healthy eating and the potential for avoiding ‘food-fussiness’ when weaning.”
Flavor is experienced by humans through a mix of taste and scent.
This is hypothesized to happen in fetuses by breathing and ingesting amniotic fluid in the womb.
Scientists from Durham’s Fetal and Neonatal Research Lab and Aston University in Birmingham, central England, participated in the study, which was published in the journal Psychological Science.
A team from Burgundy’s National Centre for Scientific Research was also participating.
The researchers hope their results will help them better understand the evolution of human taste and smell receptors, as well as perception and memory.
“It could be argued that repeated prenatal flavor exposures may lead to preferences for those flavors experienced postnatally. stated research co-author Professor Jackie Blissett of Aston University.
“In other words, exposing the fetus to less ‘liked’ flavors, such as kale, might mean they get used to those flavors in-utero.
“The next step is to examine whether fetuses show less ‘negative’ responses to these flavurs over time, resulting in greater acceptance of those flavurs when babies first taste them outside of the womb.”
Credits: Elko Daily
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