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INTAKE

are still in development; agents often test for common pathogens like salmonella and E. coli, which serve as bio- markers for the existence of other pathogens in a food sample.

Even when an excellent testing procedure is avail- able, sampling poses a problem, especially in the case of solid or semi-solid foods. Contamination may be isolated in one part of a carcass, a head of lettuce, or a produc- tion run of some other food. Sampling the entire prod- uct would eliminate the worry that a pathogen was missed, but there would be no product left to eat. Thus an elab- orate science of statistical testing has evolved to ascertain with reasonable probability whether a product is conta- minated based on a certain number of samples of a cer- tain size. Still, there is no guarantee that the product is safe or that subsequent abuse will not render it unsafe.

To streamline the inspection process, many coun- tries require government-validated export certificates to verify whether a product contains what the label says it does and that it has been approved for safety and offered for consumption in the country that produces it. Making certification an internationally harmonious process is the focus of the Codex Committee for Food Import and Ex- port Inspection and Certification Systems.

See also Codex Alimentarius; FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization); Food Safety; Food Trade Associa- tions; Government Agencies; International Agencies.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Codex Alimentarius website with links to WTO, OIE, IPPC. Available at http://www.codexalimentarius.net.

Food and Drug Administration website. Available at http:// www.fda.gov. See the Office of Regulatory Affairs infor- mation on import inspections.

World Trade Organization website. Available at http://www .wto.org. Contains Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement information. See the agreement on the Application of San- itary and Phytosanitary Measures.

USDA websites. Available at http://www.fsis.usda.gov and http://www.aphis.usda.gov.

Robin Yeaton Woo

Behavioral Organization of Intake

The behavioral organization of intake involves percep- tion of the sensory characteristics of food and drink. Physical and chemical properties of food and drink that can be sensed by the eater provide information about their nature. Orosensory attributes (that is, those relat- ing to both taste and the other senses) can be detected by sight and sound, smell, irritance, taste, and touch. Food and drink can be appealing based on their orosen- sory properties. And the first mouthfuls of food can send substrates around the body within minutes.

Intake can be adjusted according to nutritional needs when orosensory characteristics are associated with the postingestive (metabolic) effects of food and drink. Oro- sensory characteristics can thus become cues that predict postingestional effects specific to foods and drinks. These cues can be unlearned (innate, sweet taste) or learned (ac- quired, bitter taste). While sweet stimuli mean energy, perhaps from carbohydrate, bitter stimuli are a cue to al- kaloid toxins. From an evolutionary standpoint, it has been hypothesized that the liking for sweetness ensured animals’ survival. In animals and humans, learning plays an important role in food intake. The acquisition of a taste for nutrients and an aversion for toxic substance are also vital. Behavioral and physiological analysis of the learning of pre- and postingestive control of intake was developed by French physiologist Jacques Le Magnen. His original contributions include findings on condi- tioned sensory aversions, carbohydrate-conditioned sen- sory preferences, and control of meal size.

Social and Cultural Organization of Intake

Intake is also organized according to food availability. In terms of the latter, we see the great contrast between in- dustrialized countries where food is available in abun- dance and Third World countries where hunger afflicts poor people due to food scarcity. Our ancestors’ intake was mainly dependent on plant food gathering, hunting, and fishing. Later on, domestication of food and animals and the development of food preservation enabled hu- man societies to improve food availability. However, in parts of the world not well suited for cultivation, pas- toralists still acquire their food from their herds of do- mesticated animals. Herding allows them to transform nonedible plant matter into animal products.

INTAKE. Intake is an umbrella term that refers to the act of taking something in. The term “intake” is often used in relation to food and drink, to describe how and how much is ingested. It also relates to behavior, since mental processing is involved in the action of eating and drinking. That is, physical and social stimuli are involved in feeding and drinking behaviors in terms of controlling the movements of gathering and ingesting materials; in- ternal stimuli such as metabolism and circulating sub- strates also play a role. Intake of food and drink interests natural and social sciences as it is a vital behavior to sus- tain life that is also shaped by culture and society.

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Intake is also determined by the culture of human groups. Learned cultural knowledge affects food choices. Socially transmitted knowledge about food includes norms, religious, or cult values, as well as myths, super- stitions, taboos, and fads. The intake of certain kinds of plant and animal foods can be culturally prohibited. For example, cattle are killed for meat in many parts of the world, while traditional Hindus forbid killing cattle for meat because of their use in agriculture. Dogs serve as pets and companions in American culture while serving as food in other cultures, illustrating how intake is mo- tivated by symbolic values of the food rather than its sur-

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