1. On average, an adult has 9,000 taste buds (a child even 10,000) and this affects the way the individual perceives the tastes. Some persons have maximum 500 buds. More buds means the individual perceives more types of taste. Taste becomes ‘weaker’ with the age.
2. Taste is a chemical sense, like smelling. There are 5 basic kinds of taste: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami (savoriness), like the taste of monosodium glutamate. The spicy foods (like chili peppers) stimulate the pain receptors, not the taste buds. They cause a sensation of burning on the skin, too.
3. Taste is triggered only by chemicals that dissolve in the water. We feel the taste of the dry aliments only when they had dissolved into the saliva. We feel salt rapidly, as it is very soluble in the water, while complex molecules do it more slowly.
4. Taste is connected with the other senses. What we call “taste” is a complicated synthesis of smell, taste, touch, texture, sight, chemical irritation (like the burning produced by a chili pepper or refreshment induced by mint) and temperature.
5. Besides aging and cold, other factors too damage taste: head blows, allergic reactions, infections, drugs, or chemical toxins
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