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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Saliva could influence taste preferences

Saliva is crucial for tasting and digesting food, but scientists have now found that it may have another, more subtle role. Salivary proteins could be part of a feedback loop that influences how food tastes to people—and ...

Cats retain multiple functional bitter taste receptors

According to new research from the Monell Center, cats have at least seven functional bitter taste receptors. Further, a comparison of cat to related species with differing dietary habits reveals that there does not appear ...

Bitter food but good medicine from cucumber genetics

High-tech genomics and traditional Chinese medicine come together as researchers identify the genes responsible for the intense bitter taste of wild cucumbers. Taming this bitterness made cucumber, pumpkin and their relatives ...

'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