10 Interesting Facts about the Taste Essence
“Live not to eat but eat to live”. Probably, everyone has ever heard this quotation. Yes, nutrition is really important for each creature alive, as well as the quality of food. Besides giving us the energy to live, food provides us with tasting, which can be satisfying as well.
Taste is considered as a standout amongst the most pleasurable of all five senses a person has. However, not all people know that the process of tasting is surprisingly complex and interesting. So, here are 10 curious facts about the ability to taste you might have never heard about.
Different number of taste buds
Yes, each person has thousands of taste buds in one`s mouth – from 2000 to 10000 on average. However, their certain number varies depending on a person. Taste buds are located not only on your tongue but also in the roof and walls of a mouth, throat, and esophagus. With the years, taste buds are inclined to become less sensitive. Experts state that this could be a reason why adult people start enjoying the dishes they didn’t like being kids.
It is all your brain
Actually, you taste everything with your brain. Imagine you bite a slice of pizza and your mouth is full of it and its flavor. However, the majority of all taste sensation is taking place in your brain. To be precise, all nerves are connected. So, starting from your cranial nerves and taste buds the molecules are sent to the nose, then to the brain.
You can`t taste the food properly if you can`t smell
When you smell something, the brain perceives these sensations and activates parts of the brain associated with signals from the mouth. It helps you taste the dish well and truly enjoy it. However, if for some reasons you can`t smell, the food will not taste that much.
Eating desserts helps to remember the whole meal
Researchers state that eating sweets helps the human brain to remember the whole meal. In addition, it helps to control eating behavior. When we eat sweet food, neurons in the dorsal hippocampus are activated. This episodic memory helps to remember the exact time and place. This also influences a lot of eating behaviors. For example, people referring to their episodic memory make decisions to eat or not to eat recalling what they have already eaten during the day.
Tastes can be turned on or off
Scientists are able to play with the tastes, namely by manipulating the brain cells. There exist five main tastes receptors in the brain: sweet, sour, savory, salty, and bitter. In 2015, scientists discovered that they can turn specific taste off or on by stimulating and silencing neurons in the brains.
The smell of the ham
Nowadays, there are many grocery stores which sell the tastes of the food. It is known as phantom aromas or aroma-taste interactions. Scientists state that the smell of the ham is usually associated with salt within a great number of people. So, in order to make your brain perceive the dish saltier, add some ham-like scent or flavor. The same thing is about vanilla, which is usually perceived by people as something sweet.
Tasting something savory when flying
According to food scientists from Cornell University, some noisy environments, for example, on the board of a plane, affect a person`s sense of taste. The study found that your taste buds prefer savory when you fly. Sweet receptors are not so sensitive that time if comparing to savory.
Those, who are choosy when it comes to eating, belong to 25 percent of people who have extra papillae in their tongue. It means that these people are supertasters having a greater number of taste buds and more sensitive taste receptors.
Sweet cravings – biological aspect
If you think you eat too many desserts only because of lack of self-control, read this. Scientists found that sugar craving is also a biological preference that appeared in the process of ancient evolution as a desire for survival. In addition, people enjoy eating sweet-tasting food in order to reduce some kinds of pain, especially non-physical.
Genetic taste preferences
Certainly, it is unlikely that all taste preferences are genetically explained. However, there can be something hidden in your DNA standing for your taste essence. The first analysis of a genetic underpinning to taste was made in 1931 by chemist Arthur Fox. There exist some genes corresponding to sweet or salty food. While analyzing the gene codes, it can be discovered which taste preferences a future baby may have.