This post should be the first of a series that I should be undertaking that will help you and me with getting to know our Sensory Systems. However, if I somehow deem it not useful or not interesting enough; I won’t continue it. :)
TASTE (a.k.a Gustation)
As a part of my University degree, Biomedical Science, I’m required to learn about some interesting properties about our sensory systems. And today, I’d like to teach you all about the most common form of sensory; Taste. (yummmmm)
There are five basic tastes that we know as of today.
Sweet (this taste usually indicates energy rich nutrients), Salty (allows modulation diet for electrolyte balance), Bitter (allows the sensing of natural toxins), Sour (typically the taste of amino acids) and Umami (the taste of amino acids).
(Umami is a new taste that was discovered recently by the Japanese)
Anyway, I know that many of you have heard about the “taste map” that is on our tongues.
But new studies show that this map is well ..wrong.
Because there should not be any sort of localization on the tongue; and hence all the tastes should be distributed evenly across the tongue. Although, it is true that certain regions are slightly more sensitive to certain tastes than others; but basically – it’s evenly spread across your tongue !
(This error occurred when there was a mistranslation of a German paper in to English*-*)
So have you ever wondered why sometimes you could think Miso Soup tastes good; when someone else might think it tastes too sour? And this could very well be a huge problem; especially if you’re the cook of the house ;) Well, basicaly, this happens because of your threshold. Each person has their own threshold to how much they can handle of a certain taste. (like how much you can handle sour!)
Think of it as, the more you eat a certain taste; the more “used” to it you will be.
And hence, this is where “ADAPTATION” comes in !
Your tongue has an amazing ability to adapt to higher levels of the same taste (ie, salt) So, the more you eat ..say, a lemon. The more adaptive your tongue becomes; and your threshold increases so that you will be able to intake a higher level of concentration before thinking it’s way toooooo sour.
There’s also CROSS ADAPTATION, which explains why the above taste map is completely wrong. It’s pretty much is; if you have a high intake of say ..sugar; your threshold for something that is sour becomes lower because your taste receptors become more sensitive to this new taste. Hence, this shows that your taste receptors are not specific to only one taste :)
♥ ♥ ♥
But, did you know that, your body can recognize a “deficiency”? So the next time you’re craving salt, it might just mean that you really are lacking it !
What taste are you most accustomed with?
and have you ever thought something tasted fine, when others thought it tasted too much of a taste?
I think mine would be either sweet or salt. Which are both probably bad things ._.
Hence I always think things taste too bland when everyone else is like tooo saltyyy!!