July 3, 2006 in Molecular Gastronomy
The diagram above shows one view of a mouth and tongue. On the surface of the tongue, as you well know from touching your own, is a whole rugged landscape of bumps and crevasses.
There are many misconceptions regarding the regions of taste sensation in the mouth. You have likely seen those diagrams where sweet is on the tip of the tongue, bitter at the back, sour towards the middle, and salty along the edges.
In fact, each of these gustatory buds is capable of detecting all five “flavors”.
I will discuss the molecular biology of taste or chemoreception in the next post.
Beyond the chemicals or “tastants” that we detect in the food that comes in contact with our tongue and inner cheeks, we also use olfaction (smelling) to appreciate and evaluate the food or drink we are enjoying.
The next question should be, how does that taste bud experience flavor?
My next post will discuss the concept of receptors and how the taste bud translates exposure to certain chemicals in our food into a neural impulse that we integrate in our minds as a flavor.
Books on Molecular Gastronomy:
- Molecular Gastronomy for the masses? (A Rant)
- Molecular Gastronomy 101: Part 1 – The Nose and receptors
- Molecular Gastronomy 101: Part 2 – The Nose and receptors
Molecular, Gastronomy, Molecular Gastronomy, food, culinary, cooking, science, food science, taste, chemoreception, 101, nose, tongue, GrayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Anatomy, oral, mouth, molecular biology.