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Sweet or Sour – Exploring mechanisms and factors influencing sweet-sour taste interactions

PhD defence, Wednesday, 21 September 2022. Jonas Yde Junge.

Jonas Yde Junge

Tastes interact in almost every food we consume. Without knowing it, we encounter taste interactions many times each day - if your coffee is too bitter, you add sugar to reduce the bitterness, and you add sugar to lemons to make the lemonade less sour. Nevertheless, the mechanisms of taste interactions are still largely unknown.

During his PhD studies, Jonas Yde Junge researched the factors affecting the taste interaction effects of sweetness on sourness and sourness on sweetness, and the mechanisms determining these effects. Jonas Yde Junge studied whether taste interactions between the sweetness of sucrose and sourness of citric acid occur on a central cognitive, peripheral physiological, or chemical level. The mechanism behind sweet-sour taste interactions was investigated through a novel mechanistic study design using a split-tongue gustometer, which Jonas Yde Junge constructed and developed during his PhD.

These studies found that sweetness suppression from sourness mostly is occurring via a central cognitive interaction mechanism meaning that taste receptor and chemical interactions do not play a notable role in sweetness suppression from sourness.


The PhD study was completed at Department of Food Science, Faculty of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University.

This summary was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Wednesday, 21 September 2022 at 13:00
Place: Building 5910, room 116, Department of Food Science, Aarhus University, Agro Food Park 48, 8200 Aarhus N
Title of PhD thesis: Sweet - Sour Taste Interactions in Beverages

Contact information: Jonas Yde Junge, e-mail: jonas.junge@food.au.dk, tel.: +45 26330862

Members of the assessment committee:

Professor Lisa Methven, Department of Food and nutritional sciences, University of Reading, United Kingdom

Professor Mari Sandell, Department of Food and Nutrition, University of Helsinki, Finland

Associate Professor Merete Edelenbos (chair), Department of Food Science, Aarhus University, Denmark

Main supervisor:
Associate Professor Ulla Kidmose, Department of Food Science, Aarhus University, Denmark

Co-supervisor:
Professor and Science Team leader Derek V. Byrne, Department of Food Science, Aarhus University, Denmark

Professor Sun Yuan-Xia, Tianjin Institute for Industrial Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Senior Researcher Chris Kjeldsen, Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Denmark

Associate Professor Per Bendix Jeppesen, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Denmark

Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English

The defence is public.
The PhD thesis is available for reading at the Graduate School of Natural Sciences/GSNS,

Jens Baggesens Vej 53, building 5221, 8200 Aarhus N.

17427 / i43