In addition to seeing, hearing, smelling and feeling, taste is one of the five human senses. Humans are able to taste in order to check food and to stay away from poisonous things such as plants, which are mostly extremely bitter.
In addition, it acts on the release of saliva and gastric juice: it is stimulated by the sense of taste.
We are generally able to differentiate five different tastes from one another. One of these basic human taste sensations is one
- salty and
If you taste sweet, this is due to them Sucrose (Household or granulated sugar), Glucose (Glucose) and Saccharin (synthetic sweetener).
The sour taste comes from hydrochloric and citric acids.
Something is perceived as bitter when it is Quinine sulfate or nicotine contains.
If something ingested tastes salty, it comes from Sodium chloride or Calcium chloride. In addition, there is also the possibility of perceiving mixtures of basic tastes, such as sweet and sour. There are discussions about whether we can also taste alkaline (soapy) and metallic tastes. In addition, it is now assumed that sodium salt (Glutamate) belongs to our taste qualities. This is known as the so-called umami taste.
All of these flavors can trigger certain facial reactions in humans, which are innate and can therefore be observed even in newborns. All taste qualities adapt in certain periods of time.
This means that if a certain flavor substance is constantly present, we will no longer perceive the taste as intensely after seconds or minutes.
We can only taste the bitter taste to its full extent for hours, as this was of crucial importance in the past for recognizing bitter poisonous plants and thus for survival. In the past, it was assumed that any particular taste quality could be assigned to a fixed area on the tongue, such as the sweet taste of the tip of the tongue. However, this has now been refuted. But how is it possible to taste with our tongue? Responsible for this are our taste organs, the taste papillae and the taste buds, which are imperceptible to the human eye. On closer inspection of the structure of the taste buds, one can distinguish three different types from one another. On closer inspection, however, all taste papillae look like a “wall” bounded by a “ditch” on the right and left.
The so-called mushroom papillae (Fungiform papillae) make up the largest group and are distributed over the entire tongue. There are also papillae (Foliate Papillae), which can be found on the back edge of the tongue. Papillae (Papillae vallatae) are mainly found in the back of the tongue and form the smallest group of taste papillae. Taste buds are located in the “trenches” and the walls of the “wall” of the taste buds.
Their number decreases slightly with age. They contain the actual sensory cells, which in turn have receptors that are responsible for the perception of different tastes. A sensory cell has receptors for different taste qualities. The smallest food components can bind to these receptors.
The mechanism of binding can be thought of as a key and a matching keyhole. A certain component of our food can bind to a suitable receptor in the sensory cell. Molecular processes lead to a change in the activity of the nerve fiber, which forms a connection between the sensory cells and certain areas of the brain.With the help of the nerve fibers, a signal reaches the cerebral cortex, the limbic system (processing of emotions and control of instinctual behavior) and the hypothalamus, a section of the diencephalon.