Tuesday, 27th September 2011
A Matter of Taste
Source: Society of Neuroscience
From the article:
When we sit down to devour our favorite meal, we take for granted that we will be able to taste and savor the different flavors in the food. Our sense of taste is so central to our daily lives that we seldom think about it. But taste, as scientists are discovering, is anything but ordinary. It's a highly complex neurobiological process influenced by many factors, including genes, age, and experience.
Scientists believe taste evolved to protect us from eating things that are poisonous and to ensure we get the calories and nutrients we need. Many poisons are either bitter or sour — tastes we tend to reject. Enjoyment of salty and sweet-tasting foods, on the other hand, ensures we meet our nutritional requirements for salts (especially sodium chloride) and carbohydrates (including sugars). A fifth taste, umami (Japanese for "savory"), encourages us to eat foods rich in glutamate, an amino acid found in meats, cheeses, and tomatoes. Some scientists believe humans have a sixth basic taste — for fat.
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By Heather Negley
An Info Pro, librarian, entrepreneur, author, worldwide connector and book-lover, Heather Negley is recognized for her new ways of thinking about librarianship, research, social media and creativity. Heather is the founder of HelpALibrarian.com and Zing Information Services. She has most recently been an Information Research Specialist with the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress where she provided business research for members of Congress and their staffs. Heather also worked as a research reporter for U.S. News and World Report and as a technical advertising producer on the washingtonpost.com. She received her MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons College in Boston, MA.
Heather can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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