Similar Preference for Natural Mineral Water between Female College Students and Rats.

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  • ミネラルウォーターに対する女子短大生とラットの嗜好性の類似

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The preference for natural mineral water was studied with female college students and rats. Four commercially available types of natural mineral water from Japan and overseas were selected for a sensory evaluation. Tap water was used as a control. The amounts of calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium in each water sample were measured by atomic absorption spectrophotometry, and the hardness was measured by the chelatometric method. The subjects were female college students with normal taste perception. Subsequently, 8-week-old female rats were subjected to two-bottle-choice preference tests. The measured concentrations of calcium and magnesium in each water sample were lower than the values indicated on the labels, while the sodium and potassium concentrations were higher. The measured hardness values were approximately 1.2 times those calculated from the concentrations of calcium and magnesium. The hardness values of the test samples were 11.5, 58.3, 81.3, 332.3 and 534.0 mg/l, while tap water had a hardness of 38.3 mg/l. Preference tests showed that a hardness of 58.3 mg/l produced the most favorable taste quality, while a value of more than 300 mg/l resulted in aversion with both humans and rats. These results suggest that the acceptability of natural mineral water is similar with both humans and rats, with a hardness of around 50 mg/l being best for drinking water. The hardness of mineral water can be used as an index for the sensory evaluation of drinking water.


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