The summarized data for all the food choices made by the five sakis for all possible combinations of food pairings are shown in Table 1. The group of sakis displayed a significant preference for one of the two food items in 96 out of the 105 total binary combinations. While peanut was significantly preferred over all 14 other possible food items, eggplant was never preferred over any alternative. Hazelnut and avocado were also significantly preferred over all other food items (with the obvious exception of peanut). Although broccoli was significantly preferred over eggplant, and tomato was significantly preferred over broccoli and eggplant, these three food items were never significantly preferred over others.
Table 1. Choice behavior of the five white-faced sakis.
Food Preference Rankings
A summary of all food choices made by the sakis at the individual and group level is shown in Table 2. Peanut, hazelnut and avocado were the three most attractive food items both at the group and individual level. Eggplant and broccoli were among the three least attractive food items for all individuals and at the group level. The five sakis showed similar rankings of preference with only small differences in the order of the 15 food items. Accordingly, all individual rankings of preference were significantly correlated with each other (Spearman rₛ ≥ 0.91, P ˂ 0.05). Food preference rankings were also similar between the two males and the three females. Accordingly, the rankings of preference were significantly correlated between male and female sakis (Spearman rₛ = 0.98, P ˂ 0.05).
Table 2. Total number of choices per food item at the individual and group level.
Food Preference Rankings and Nutritional Content
Spearman rank-order correlation results between the food preference rankings of the sakis and the nutritional contents of the 15 food items are displayed in Table 3.
At the 1% level of significance, energy was the only nutritional content that was positively correlated with all the individual and group preference rankings. The positive correlation with energy means that the most attractive food items had the highest energy values per mass unit.
Also at the 1% level of significance, Carotene and vitamin C were negatively correlated with the group preference rankings. The negative correlations with carotene and vitamin C mean that the least attractive food items had the highest amounts of carotene and vitamin C per mass unit.
At the 5% level of significance, the contents of mono-unsaturated fatty acids, copper, iodine, vitamin E, riboflavin and biotin were all correlated positively with the group preference ranking.
Also at the 5% level of significance, the content of water was negatively correlated with the group and all individual preference rankings.
In addition to the significant correlations found at the group level, Lisha’s individual preference ranking was also significantly and positively correlated with the lipid content of the food items employed (Spearman rₛ = 0.55, P ˂ 0.05).
Table 3. Spearman rank-order correlations between food preference rankings and nutritional contents of the 15 food items employed in the study.