Taste Perception!

You love to eat. That’s right, we’ve got your number. There’s no need to be shy about it — we love to eat too!

Before we start talking about food and palette, lets understand that humans have five different types of tastes:

SWEET: Generally regarded as the most pleasant taste, sweetness is almost always caused by a type of simple sugar such as glucose or fructose. Other types of sugar include raw sugar, which is known for its amber color, as it is unprocessed. As sugar is vital for energy and survival, the taste of sugar is pleasant.

SOUR: Sourness is caused by the taste of acids, such as vinegar in alcoholic beverages. Sour foods include citrus, specifically lemons, limes, and to a lesser degree oranges. Many foods, however, are slightly acidic, and help stimulate the taste buds and enhance flavor.

SALTY: t is found in almost every food in low to moderate proportions to enhance flavor, although to eat pure salt is regarded as highly unpleasant. There are many different types of salt, with each having a different degree of saltiness, including sea salt, kosher salt, mined salt, and grey salt. Other than enhancing flavor, its significance is that the body needs and maintains a delicate electrolyte balance, which is the kidney’s function. Historically salt has long been used as a meat preservative as salt promotes water excretion.

BITTER: Bitterness is a sensation often considered unpleasant characterized by having a sharp, pungent taste. Dark, unsweetened chocolate, caffeine, lemon rind, and some types of fruit are known to be bitter.

UMAMI: Umami, the Japanese word for delicious, is the least known in Western popular culture but has a long tradition in Asian cuisine. It is characterized as savory, meaty, and rich in flavor. Salmon and mushrooms are foods high in umami.

As the taste buds have evolved, the tastes that provide the most energy (sugar and fats) are the most pleasant to eat while others, such as bitter, are not enjoyable. Water, while important for survival, has no taste. Fats, on the other hand, especially saturated fats, are thicker and rich and are thus considered more enjoyable to eat.

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