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Emerging pattern of post-COVID-19 parosmia and its effect on food perception

Parker, J. K. ORCID:, Methven, L., Pellegrino, R., Smith, B. C., Gane, S. and Kelly, C. E. (2022) Emerging pattern of post-COVID-19 parosmia and its effect on food perception. Foods, 11 (7). 967. ISSN 2304-8158

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3390/foods11070967


Olfactory dysfunction is amongst the many symptoms of Long COVID. Whilst most recover their sense of smell and taste within a few weeks, about 10% of cases experience long-term problems, and their smell recovery journey often begins a few months later when everyday items start to smell distorted. This is known as parosmia. The aim of this study was to identify the key food triggers of parosmic distortions and investigate the relationship between distortion and disgust in order to establish the impact of parosmia on the diet and quality of life. In this cross-sectional study (n = 727), respondents experiencing smell distortions completed a questionnaire covering aspects of smell loss, parosmia and the associated change in the valence of everyday items. There was a significant correlation between strength and disgust (p < 0.0001), and when the selected items were reported as distorted, they were described as either unpleasant or gag-inducing 84% of the time. This change in valence associated with loss of expected pleasure and the presence of strange tastes and burning sensations must certainly lead to changes in eating behaviours and serious long-er-term consequences for mental health and quality of life.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences > Food Research Group
ID Code:104336


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