Posts tagged ‘sour’

Cats Cannot Taste Sweetness in Food

My favorite classic science fair exhibit is the taste buds booth.

It’s like going to the electronics department in Costco — you eat free food samples while some kid tells you stuff you’ll never remember because all you’re thinking about is how you can get away from the booth without it looking like you just came over for the free food samples.

Taste has been studied for a long time. In 1901, Harvard professor Edwin G. Boring  published a paper that stated different taste receptors can be found on different parts of the human tongue. His last name was Boring, but his work was not. In fact, his work is slightly controversial since all areas of the tongue are sensitive to all tastes; however, some areas are more sensitive than others.

Some wine and beer glasses are shaped to encourage the liquid to hit certain parts of your tongue first, this is supposed to deliver the ideal taste sensation for that drink.

There are five generally accepted taste sensations:

  • Sweet
  • Bitter
  • Savory
  • Salty
  • Sour

Most mammals can experience all of these sensations. There are some exceptions, particularly with sweetness. New world monkeys do not perceive aspartame as sweet. Humans, apes and old world monkeys do. Cats cannot taste sweetness at all.

Broken Secrets | By: Chad Upton

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Sources: Wikipedia (taste buds, sweetness, wine glass), Scientific American

June 17, 2010 at 12:38 am 7 comments


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