That tastes great! Why is our ability to taste important?
Tasting our food is a wonderful thing. The mouth has several attributes that make tasting food a flavorful experience. Although taste primarily occurs in your mouth, smells account for part of flavor. That is why when you are sick it is difficult to taste food.
Primary Taste Sensations
There are five primary taste sensations for determining the taste of a particular food. All of these are strongly correlated with our sense of smell as well!
Salty – Consist of sodium and chloride normally, but some other elements such as potassium or magnesium can also cause the salty sensation.
Sour – Consist of mainly acidic solutions.
Sweet – Consist of sugar, such as fructose or lactose.
Bitter – Consist of many different substances to combine the bitter sensation
Umami/Savory – Consist of proteins, glutamic and aspartic acid, usually evoking pleasant emotions. These two acids are found in many things, including some plants.
Papillae contain taste buds with sensory cells. These cells allow us the ability to determine the flavor of food. Different cells for taste are located on various areas of the tongue.
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