Can a Fetus Taste the Difference Between Carrots and Kale?

As part of the 4D ultrasounds during the fetal taste study, any reaction from each fetus was recorded. Expected fetal facial movements (FMs) included actions such as inner-brow raiser, nose wrinkle, nasolabial furrow, lip puckera, tongue show, mouth stretch, or lip suck. Further, these facial expressions were grouped by laughter-face or cry-face combinations.

Reissland explained, “If you look at it from 24 to 36 weeks’ gestation, their expressions become more and more complex.”

According to the fetus taste study published by SAGE Journals, “The main results show that the intake of a single dose of flavorant by a pregnant woman activates fetal FMs as well as a combination of movements that together form a laughter-face or a cry-face gestalt.” In other words, the fetuses reacted to the flavor.

Not surprisingly, the fetuses smiled when mom ate carrots and frowned after kale.

Further, the fetuses reacted more positively to the carrot flavor than the kale flavor. “Moreover, fetuses express different frequencies of facial gestalts in relation to the type of flavor that they are exposed to, namely, more laughter-face gestalts when exposed to a carrot flavor and more cry-face gestalts when experiencing a kale flavor,” according to the study.

Janna Firestone
Janna Firestone
Janna lives in Northern Colorado with her husband and two teenage boys. You’ll often find her hiking, paddleboarding, or enjoying a good board game indoors. She's an unapologetic Dallas Cowboys fan, and an even bigger fan of coffee, dry shampoo, and authentic conversations.

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