Palatability in pigs, the pleasure of consumption1

Jaime Figueroa, Daniela Frías, David Solà-Oriol, Tamara Tadich, Rosa Franco-Rosselló, Valentina Nuñez, Dominic M. Dwyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch

13 Citations (Scopus)


© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society of Animal Science. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: Despite the importance of hedonic reactions in pig's intake, feed palatability has been typically inferred from preference or acceptance measures. However, these measures are influenced by factors beyond palatability, such as energy density and hunger. The aim of this study was to evaluate palatability responses in pigs to sweet and umami taste at different inclusions levels. Pigs (24 per experiment) were video recorded while exposed in pairs to different sucrose (Exp. 1) or monosodium glutamate (MSG, Exp. 2) solutions over seven consecutive 10 min tests (one concentration per day). In both experiments, palatability was estimated through consumption patterns (consumption time per approaches, CT/A), facial expressions (snout openings and tongue protrusions), and consumption during a brief 2 min period. Data were analyzed by sucrose or MSG concentration. Sucrose concentration affected total intake, producing an inverted-U function and a quadratic relationship with sucrose concentration (P = 0.012). In contrast, CT/A and snout openings showed a dose effect (P < 0.005) with a direct correlation between sucrose concentration and CT/A (R = 0.23, P = 0.033) but not for openings (R = 0.18, P = 0.105) where a quadratic relationship appears (P < 0.001). Tongue protrusions and brief consumption time were not affected by sucrose concentration (P = 0.144 and 0.205, respectively). MSG concentration affected consumption, CT/A, snout openings, and brief consumption time (P < 0.001), with significant (P < 0.001) positive correlations (R = 0.59, 0.56, 0.56, and 0.68), respectively. As with rats, CT/A appears to provide a novel and interesting measure reflecting the palatability of preferred ingredients in pigs. However, brief consumption time and orofacial reactions show less similarity between pigs and rodents. Thus further studies are necessary both to better understand the measurement methods themselves and relationship between hedonic reactions and simple consumption in pigs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2165-2174
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2019


  • brief intake
  • consumption pattern
  • palatability
  • pigs
  • reactivity test


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