Quantifying how our taste buds react to different ingredients isn't an easy task. It's hard enough to get 4 out of 5 dentists to agree on a toothpaste, so it's understandably difficult to get untrained taste testers to agree on what kind of flavors they prefer. The assumption that there is a single "best-tasting" formula for a particular food is unrealistic in many cases, anyway, as Malcolm Gladwell's popular TED talk on spaghetti sauces
discusses. Still, food science has to take some kind of measurements, and here are just a few examples.
If you have some more free time, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post