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Repeatability of Mice Consumption Discrimination of Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) Varieties across Field Experiments and Mouse Cohorts

Alecia M. Kiszonas, E. Patrick Fuerst, Craig F. Morris
Journal of food science 2015 v.80 no.7 pp. S1589
Mus musculus, Triticum aestivum, animal models, diet, feeding preferences, field experimentation, flavor, hard red spring wheat, human nutrition, mice, nutrients, repeatability, spring, spring wheat, varieties, whole grain foods
Whole grain wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) foods can provide critical nutrients for health and nutrition in the human diet. Potential flavor differences among varieties can be examined using consumption discrimination of the house mouse (Mus musculus L.) as a model system. This study examines consistency and repeatability of the mouse model and potentially, wheat grain flavor. A single elimination tournament design was used to measure relative consumption preference for hard red spring and hard white spring varieties across all 3 experiments in combination with 2 mouse cohorts. Fifteen replicate mice were used in 24‐h trials to examine differences in preference among paired wheat varieties until an overall “winner” was established as the most highly preferred variety of wheat. In all 3 experiment–cohort combinations, the same varieties were preferred as the “winner” of both the hard red spring and hard white spring wheat varieties, Hollis and BR 7030, respectively. Despite the consistent preference for these varieties across experiments, the degree (magnitude) to which the mice preferred these varieties varied across experiments. For the hard white spring wheat varieties, the small number of varieties and confounding effects of experiment and cohort limited our ability to accurately gauge repeatability. Conversely, for the hard red spring wheat varieties, consumption preferences were consistent across experiments and mice cohorts. The single‐elimination tournament model was effective in providing repeatable results in an effort to more fully understand the mouse model system and possible flavor differences among wheat varieties.