Researchers uncover secrets of 'miracle fruit'

(PhysOrg.com) -- Though not very well known in the United States, at least until the past few years, the miracle fruit is a cranberry like fruit that has the unique property of being able to make acidic or bitter foods taste ...

Genetic evidence shows loss of three basic tastes in penguins

A University of Michigan-led study of penguin genetics has concluded that the flightless aquatic birds lost three of the five basic vertebrate tastes—sweet, bitter and the savory, meaty taste known as umami—more than ...

What makes mosquitoes avoid DEET? An answer in their legs

Many of us slather ourselves in DEET each summer in hopes of avoiding mosquito bites, and it generally works rather well. Now, researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology on April 25th have made the surprising discovery ...

Research team elucidates evolution of bitter taste sensitivity

It's no coincidence that the expression "to leave a bitter taste in one's mouth" has a double meaning; people often have strong negative reactions to bitter substances, which, though found in healthful foods like vegetables, ...

For stressed bees, the glass is half empty

When people are depressed or anxious, they are much more likely to see their glass as half empty than half full. In tough times, evidence of that same pessimistic outlook can be seen in dogs, rats, and birds. Now, researchers ...

'Eau de comet' is a bit of a stinker

Rotten eggs, horse pee, alcohol and bitter almonds: this is the bouquet of odours you would smell if a comet in deep space could be brought back to Earth, European scientists said on Thursday.

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Taste

Taste (also called smatch or gustation; adjectival form: gustatory) is one of the traditional five senses. It refers to the ability to detect the flavor of substances such as food, certain minerals, and poisons, etc.

Humans receive tastes through sensory organs called taste buds, or gustatory calyculi, concentrated on the upper surface of the tongue.

The sensation of taste can be categorized into five basic tastes: sweet, bitterness, sour, salty, and umami. The recognition and awareness of umami is a relatively recent development in Western cuisine. MSG produces a strong umami taste.

As taste senses both harmful and beneficial things, all basic tastes are classified as either appetitive or aversive, depending upon the effect the things they sense have on our bodies.

The basic tastes contribute only partially to the sensation and flavor of food in the mouth — other factors include smell, detected by the olfactory epithelium of the nose; texture, detected through a variety of mechanoreceptors, muscle nerves, etc.; temperature, detected by thermoreceptors; and spiciness, or piquance, also called chemesthesis.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA