Monday, September 23, 2013


Deanna Shaffer
Dr. Berg

     Taste is one of the most difficult senses to understand and also one of the least understood. Thousands of discoveries have been made from sight, smell, touch and hearing; but what seems to be left out is taste. For the rest of this post it should be made clear that taste and flavor will be two completely different concepts and not considered the same thing. Most of the time people percieve that through taste they will develop a pallete in their mouth. What tastes good to them and what does not taste good. They achieve this development through their taste receptors.
     Sensations in the taste receptors, located on the tongue, are a series of electrical impulses (Dowdey 1). These sensations, or impulses, are responses to stimuli, like chemical composition, and become a perception, like taste, when they reach the brain. Once in the brain different chemical releases indicate whether someone would enjoy what they tasted, like dopamine, or how they did not enjoy what they tasted. Furhtermore, flavor is the fusion of multiple senses. In this form, the smell of food, the sight of food and taste of food develop a flavor. For example, with spicy food the brain will factor in pain as a stimuli to flavor on top of sight, taste and smell.
     Supertasters are people who have an extremely hightened sense of taste. They can perceieve several different flavors in food due to a dominant allele for the gene of taste. Their taste buds in sections of the tongue are on steriods. However, most of the time supertasters find simple foods too bitter, sweet or spicy. Some companies whom work for Coca Cola and Kellogs have tampered with taste receptor cells and their effect on food to allow only a certain taste to develop on the average persons tongue in order to create a better flavor in their product.

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