U.S. Department of Defense


Date of this Version



Published in Appetite 40 (2003) 199–216.


The history of food acceptance research by the US Army in Chicago and Natick is reviewed. The review covers the staff of the two research centers, the research programs, and the significant accomplishments of the Army laboratories from the 1940s to the present. Accomplishments begin with the development of the nine-point hedonic scale, and the development of the first Food Acceptance Laboratory. Further accomplishments include studies of sensory psychophysics, food preferences, food choice and food intake. The laboratories designed methods and conducted research on the role of consumer variables in the acceptance of food products and food service systems. Recent work has focused on new scaling approaches, the role of contextual factors and the importance of product expectations. Throughout the period of the review, the Army research has examined the relationship of laboratory acceptance to field acceptance, and the relationship of acceptance to intake.