from the urls-we-dig-up dept
There’s no accounting for taste — unless of course you have to quantify it with sensory panels and professional tasters. It’s not quite an exact science which is sorta why you can never get 4 out of 5 dentists to agree on anything, but researchers are still trying their best to learn about how we perceive different tastes. If you’re a serious foodie or just curious, check out some of these links on flavors and how we sense them.
- One hypothesis for why people have bitter receptors is that early humans needed to avoid poisonous plants, but that explanation hasn’t been supported by much evidence. It’s a mystery why we can perceive bitter as a taste because the ability doesn’t seem to correlate at all with diet and a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. [url]
- Red pandas apparently like the taste of aspartame (and other artificial sweeteners), and these bears are the first non-primate mammals known to have such a preference. The researchers who made this discovery placed a sweet solution and a control of plain water in front of animals in a zoo for a day, and a preference was observed if the animals drank more of the sweet solution rather than plain water. Recently, giant pandas were also found to like sugar, even though they typically eat mostly bamboo. [url]
- Maybe you remember learning about a tongue map where sweet receptors are on the tip of your tongue and bitter receptors are on the back? Sorry, but researchers say that map is wrong. The ability to taste bitter, sour, sweet, salty and umami can be found all over the tongue, in the same areas. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.