Saturday, September 22, 2012

LMAYQ: Eating

Eating Questions (source)
Let Me Answer Your Questions, where I answer your important questions about things tangentially related to this blog. Today they are about eating. As always, these are real true 'search terms' that The Internet directed to The Cellular Scale. 

1."What physiological mechanisms makes food smell better when you are hungry?"

I almost address this in You can't trust your receptors: Smell, where I explain how the brain can actually modulate the sensitivity of the smell receptors themselves.

The real answer is that it is not exactly known, but it might have to do with grhelin. The hormone ghrelin is related to feeling hungry and a receptor for ghrelin is found in the olfactory (smell) pathways. One study actually tested whether ghrelin would affect a person's sense of smell.

Tong et al., 2011 gave people an IV injection of ghrelin and then tested how 'strongly they sniffed' with a 'sniff magnitude test (SMT)'. The higher levels of ghrelin correlated with a higher 'sniffing magnitude'. However, the sniffing magnitude was increased to both food and non-food smells. This means that people didn't necessarily inhale deeply because they liked the delicious smell of banana, they were just engaging in 'exploratory sniffing'. In addition, the authors had the smellers rate how pleasent the smell was, and the ghrelin did not increase the pleasentness ratings. 

So the actual physiological reason for food smelling better when you are hungry is still a mystery research question.

2. "best Madeleine recipe"

Well, this isn't exactly a question, but I am pretty sure this particular googler did not find what they wanted on my post on literature references in science. So here you go.  Though I have never made Madeleines, this one from looks delicious!

Earl Grey Madeleines Recipe adapted from 101 Cookbooks
yield: 7-8 large madeleines
  • 6 tablespoons butter
    1 egg
    3 tablespoons flour
    2.5 tablespoons sugar
    1/2 teaspoon loose leaf earl grey tea
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • butter to grease madeleine pan
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Melt the butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add the tea and cool to room temperature. While the melted butter is cooling, grease the madeleine pan.
Put the egg in the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until thick – approximately 3 minutes. The egg should double or triple in volume. Continuing to mix on high speed, and slowly add the sugar in a steady stream. Whip for 2 minutes or until mixture is thick. With a spatula, gently mix in the vanilla.
Sprinkle the flour on top of the egg batter, and gently fold in. Now fold in the butter mixture, stirring only enough to bring everything together. At this point, I like to refrigerate my batter for a bit. I find it helps with baking. Press saran wrap directly against the batter and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Spoon the batter into the flutes, filling each 2/3 -3/4 full. Bake the madeleines for 12 – 14 minutes, or until the edges of the madeleines are golden brown. Remove from oven and unmold immediately.

3. "What does a mouse eat?"

Peanut head (source)
Mice eat lots of things. If you have a pet mouse, you should feed it normal pet-store mouse food because it is a complete mouse diet.  But mice love new things, so you should give them oatmeal or peanuts or other seeds and grains as treats.

In some labs, mice and rats get to eat froot loops when they find the reward cup at the end of a maze. 

© TheCellularScale

ResearchBlogging.orgTong J, Mannea E, Aimé P, Pfluger PT, Yi CX, Castaneda TR, Davis HW, Ren X, Pixley S, Benoit S, Julliard K, Woods SC, Horvath TL, Sleeman MM, D'Alessio D, Obici S, Frank R, & Tschöp MH (2011). Ghrelin enhances olfactory sensitivity and exploratory sniffing in rodents and humans. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 31 (15), 5841-6 PMID: 21490225

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh I can't get over how adorable that picture is! While I can't answer what a mouse eats, I can tell you what rats eat: Everything! My secret weapon for coaxing them out of hiding spots is hummus.