A functional fatty acid taste receptor, GPR120, is present in chicken oral tissues, and chickens show a preference for lipid in feed. However, it remains unclear whether chickens can detect fatty acids. To address this issue, we adopted 2 behavioral paradigms: a one-bowl drinking test to evaluate the preference for oleic acid solution and a conditioned taste aversion test to investigate the role of gustation in chickens' ability to detect oleic acid. In the one-bowl drinking test, chickens did not show any preference for solution containing 0.001, 0.01, 0.03, 0.1, or 30 mmol/L oleic acid although 30 mmol/L oleic acid was enough to fully activate GPR120, confirmed by Ca2+ imaging. On the other hand, chickens conditioned to avoid 30 mmol/L oleic acid solution also learned to avoid the solution. These results suggested that chickens have a gustatory perception of oleic acid solution but do not have a preference for it. The present results support the idea that chickens prefer lipid in feed, not only by a postingestive effect but also by sensing the taste of fatty acid.
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