The taste of things to come

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Science  15 Aug 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6198, pp. 750-751
DOI: 10.1126/science.345.6198.750

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Expectant mothers are barraged with advice from friends, family, and physicians about what to eat while pregnant and breast-feeding. Most of that advice is focused on nutrition, but in recent years scientists have begun to explore another important aspect of early food experience—flavor. Although some preferences, such as a love for sweetness and an aversion to bitterness, are genetically determined, a growing body of evidence suggests that the majority of our idiosyncratic inclinations for different flavors are not innate, but rather learned. Indeed, studies in human infants and animals suggest that we may start to learn and love different flavors as early as in the womb.