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If you justify buying ice cream laden with fat because it tastes better — hold that cone.

Food scientists at Penn State found that most people can't tell the difference between high-fat and lower-caloried ice cream, up to a point.

Given a series of taste tests, a consumers were unable to tell a difference in taste between ice cream with 6- to 12-percent fat.

They were, however, able to tell the difference between low-calorie ice cream in the 6 percent fat range with ice cream with 10 percent fat.

"I think the most important finding in our study was that there were no differences in consumer acceptability when changing fat content within a certain range," said Laura Rolon, a former Penn State graduate student in food science and lead author of the study.

"There is a preconception of more fat is better, but we did not see it within our study."

A panel of 292 regular ice cream consumers took part in the blind tests.

The study may raise questions about marketing high-fat, or premium, ice cream as better tasting than ice creams with lower fat levels, the researchers said.

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