Flavour preferences conditioned by protein solutions in post-weaning pigs

Jaime Figueroa, David Solà-Oriol, Elizabeth Borda, Anthony Sclafani, José Francisco Pérez

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Prior studies report in various mammalian species that a neutral flavour can become strongly preferred after being associated with a positive consequence of its consumption. Two experiments were performed to study flavour preferences conditioned by a protein source in weaned pigs. In experiment 1, pigs were trained to drink (30 min/day) one flavour (CS+) mixed into a 2% protein solution (Soybean Protein Concentrate; SPC or Porcine Digestible Peptides; PDP) and another flavour (CS-) mixed into water during 6 alternate sessions. The pigs in the SPC and PDP groups consumed more CS+ than CS- in the two-choice tests with both flavours presented in water (552 vs. 409 mL, 571 vs. 414 mL, respectively). In the last choice SPC and PDP animals preferred the CS+ over the CS- when both flavours were present in feed rather than water (650 vs. 536 g and 678 vs. 513 g, respectively). No differences were observed between the conditioning effects of the two proteins. In experiment 2, pigs were trained (30 min/day) with a garlic flavour (CS)mixed with 4% PDP in sessions 1, 3, 5 and 7 unflavoured tap water in sessions 2, 4, 6 and 8 (Conditioned group) or with garlic flavour in water in sessions 1, 3, 5 and 7 and 4% PDP without added flavour in sessions 2, 4, 6 and 8 (control group). In subsequent choice tests conditioned pigs consumed more PDP+Garlic than PDP in Tests 1 (550 mL vs. 372 ml, Pb0.05) and 3 (763 mL vs. 503 mL, Pb0.05). In addition, pigs in the Conditioned group made significantly more first contacts (FC, number of piglets at a pan during the first 15 s) with the PDP+Garlic solution than PDP solution in Tests 1 and 2 but not in Test 3. In contrast, the control group did not differ in their intakes of or first contacts to the two PDP solutions. The present results indicate that piglets can acquire preferences for a cue flavour added to protein products (PDP and SCP). The conditioned flavour preference also enhanced the attraction to the palatable protein (PDP) when the flavour and protein were combined. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-316
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Conditioning
  • Flavour
  • Pigs
  • Preferences


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