what makes food taste of things?


I know our tongue has tastebuds which help us able to taste but I’m talking about the specific object. Why do things have different tastes? Why does pork taste different to beef or why does carrots taste different to cucumbers?

In: Biology

While we only have a few varieties of taste receptors on our tongue(salty,sweet,bitter,sour) volatile compounds from the food are inhaled and our much more developed sense of smell picks them up. Our brains combine the information to give you the full taste of a food item. The smell actually overrides the actual taste quite a bit, which is why if you blindfold someone, and have them bite an apple while you hold an onion under their nose, they will “taste”onion.

Food taste is a complex combination of taste and smell. Its actually mostly smell. Your tongue can detect sweet, salty, bitter and savory. That is reletively simple. Think about the sensation of food when you have a cold. Your sense of smell is more complex. You have receptors in your nose that can detect many different molecules. Differences in the taste of food and drinks comes down to your detection of different chemicals in the food that reach your nose. So the presence and ratios of different molecules registers differently in your brain.