• SCIENCE - ongoing!

    There’s always some science happening at the SPIT Lab.

    Image of cartoon people raising their hands

    Volunteer to participate in a study!

    Use this link, the "Contact us" form at the bottom of the page, or send an e-mail directly to student in charge of the study.

    Sign up to hear about studies here.

    (You must be at least 18 to sign up--for studies including younger participants, email us or contact the student in charge of the study)

    Photo of bubbling water

    Trade that sugar for some sparkle!

    Student: Vinnie Valicente

    A whole new sparkling water study--check out the link to see if you qualify!

    The Sparkling Water Study

    The Purdue SPIT (Saliva, Perception, Ingestion, and Tongues) Lab is recruiting participants for our Sparkling Water Study. In this experiment, we will give participants flavored, unsweetened sparkling waters to drink for 2 weeks. During those weeks, they will have 3 taste tests with some sodas and sparkling water products. We’ll ask participants some questions about their beverage consumption at the beginning, middle, and end of the tests. We’ll also follow up with participants about their beverage consumption 2 weeks after the experiment is over.

    Participants can earn up to $30 of Amazon gift cards for participating. To see if you qualify, go to:


    If you are eligible to participate in the study, we will contact you via email. Please email Vinnie at vvalicen@purdue.edu with any questions about the study.

    IRB (IRB-2022-164) PI: Dr. Cordelia Running (crunning@purdue.edu)

    Liquid, chocolately pudding image

    Snacks and Saliva study

    Student: Katy Pacheco

    Study complete! Results being analyzed now, but the teaser is:


    Changing your diet may cause your saliva to shift how quickly it can break down starch. Right now, it might be both a harder diet (needs more chewing, which causes you to create more spit!) or a starchier diet could lead to more amylase (the thing in your spit that breaks down starch into sugar) activity.

    Photo of green gummy bears

    Vegetable... gummy bears???

    Student: Lissa Davis

    Study complete! Analysis is happening now, but the teaser is:


    Repeatedly experiencing vegetable flavors as part of a game might improve acceptance of those vegetable flavors, especially for potent green leafy veggies.

    Photo of two samples of oil and water--one is mixed together and the other is separated

    Crossin' the line--the interfacial line between water and fat, that is.

    Study complete! Results pending.

    Study complete! The TL:DR version is that people who have spit that better mixes fat with water might be better at identifying fatty acid taste ("oleogustus").


    Check out our paper on how saliva influences fat taste here!


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    Water should not feel like slime!

    Study complete! Results pending.

    Continuing our collaboration with Dr. Georgia Malandraki and I-EAT Lab, we’re looking to use flavors to help people with swallowing disorders. In this study, we are looking to see how older adults with and without swallowing disorders experience the tastes and flavors of beverages.


    Study complete! Details out soon.


    Photo of cookies


    Study complete! Results pending.

    Study complete! Details pending. General idea--replacing sugar with fermentable dietary fiber changes cookie texture. Some are still good. Others... are just weird.