DURING the past year there has been a reemergence of an old controversy concerning the importance of the perception of vapors (ie, smells) in the identification of flavors. Schneider1 has taken the position that it plays a very pervasive role. On the other hand, Clark,2 marshalling evidence from his own observations3,4 and those of others,5,6 suggested that the influence of vapor perception in the appreciation of flavors, although certainly present, is more limited than that proposed by Schneider. Perhaps this disagreement is partially a consequence of the practice, so typical of the studies in this field, of evaluating the ability of anosmic or hyposmic patients to identify flavors. The use of such patients to determine the role of smell in flavor identification is not ideal for at least three reasons.
One cannot be certain about the completeness of the disability. These patients are "self-confessed"
Mozell MM, Smith BP, Smith PE, Sullivan RL, Swender P. Nasal Chemoreception in Flavor Identification. Arch Otolaryngol. 1969;90(3):367–373. doi:10.1001/archotol.1969.00770030369020
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