What's new ? - 2018

What's new ? - 2018

The sense of taste in chickens

Liu et al., J Nutr Food Sci 2018, 8:2 18 May, 2018

Taste is important in guiding nutritive choices and motivating food intake. The sensory organs for taste are the taste buds, that transduce gustatory stimuli into neural signals. Initially, it was reported that chickens do not have taste buds and later about 70 taste buds were found in the oral cavity. This number is low compared to mammals, e.g., rats (~1000 taste buds), humans (~10,000 taste buds) and cattle, which have about 15,000-20,000 taste buds. Further studies demonstrated that chickens have a higher number of taste buds varying in number from 240-360 on average according to the breed, e.g., broilers have more taste buds compared to the layer-type. In addition, recent studies have demonstrated that the number of taste buds varies among lines in the same type (broiler-type) of chickens. 
Chickens, as a well-established animal model for research, are also the major species of animals in the poultry industry. Thus, a clear understanding of taste organ formation and the effects of taste sensation on nutrition and feeding practices is important for improving livestock production strategies. A new review, provides an update on recent findings in chicken taste buds and taste sensation indicating that the chicken taste organ is better developed than previously thought.