The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 17 No. 6 • July 2014

Human Sense of Smell Surprises Researchers:
We Can Detect Levels of Fat in Milk by Smell

A new study1 reports that humans can actually smell the difference between milk containing fat at levels of 0.125%, 1.4%, or 2.7%. The subjects were blindfolded and presented with three vials of milk. Two of them contained milk with the same amount of fat, while the other contained milk with a different amount of fat. The subjects were asked to identify which vial was different from the other two. One of the groups tested consisted of healthy normal weight individuals, the second was conducted in a different cultural milieu, the Wageningen area of the Netherlands, and the third included both normal weight and overweight people. “In all three experiments, participants were able to discriminate between different levels of fat in the milk.”1

The researchers are now hoping to discover the actual molecule(s) that enabled the subjects’ noses to sense the amount of fat.


  1. PLoS ONE (, 2014)

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