DOI: 10.1111/joss.12871 ISSN:

Soy sauce and vanilla odors improve balance ability in children

Junichi Inatomi, Kiwa Yasuoka, Hideaki Takebayashi, Yutaka Yano, Satoko Kataoka, Masahiro Yamaguchi
  • Sensory Systems
  • Food Science


Olfactory stimulation promotes motor activity in adults. However, the effect of odor stimulation on children's motor activity is not well understood. In this study, given the importance of feeding behavior in children, and the involvement of balance ability in that behavior, we examined the effects of soy sauce and vanilla odors, as food‐related olfactory stimuli, on balance ability in 67 healthy, normal developing children aged 3–6 years. The participants were randomly divided into water (control), soy sauce, and vanilla groups, and their balance ability was assessed before and after olfactory stimulation using the Functional Reach Test (FRT). The results showed that the soy sauce and vanilla odor exposure extended the reaching distance and forward shift in the center of gravity in the FRT, indicating that food odors improved the balance ability of children.

Practical Applications

We have shown that soy sauce and vanilla odors improve balance ability in children. Such odor stimulation could be useful for children with cerebral palsy who have balance disorders. A better understanding of the neural mechanisms that link olfactory stimulation with motor activity will facilitate the therapeutic application of odors for children with motor disorders.

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