Science Experiment for Sense of Taste
If you’ve ever wondered how we taste our food, this experiment can help answer your questions. We’ll look at what taste buds actually are, what role smell plays in flavor, and how nerves in our tongue and nose carry those messages to the brain.
Often, we spend more time thinking about our other senses, particularly sight and sound. Many of us might even know how the eyes and ears work, but do we know how our sense of taste works?
How Sense of Taste works?
The little bumps on are tongue are called papillae (say: puh-pih-lee). They contain taste buds or taste receptors, usually at the tip or the sides of the tongue. The taste buds on our tongues send the food taste signals to our brain for us to know different flavors of our food.
Does nose play a role in taste? Try a science experiment to find out. Can you identify the flavors that can be tasted without a nose?
One interesting fact is your need saliva to taste any flavors. Why? Because the chemicals carrying taste from the food must first dissolve in saliva before they can be detected by receptors on taste buds. To prove it, you can dry your tongue with a paper towel before you taste some food. Can you taste it? Now drink some water, then taste the food again. Can you feel the difference?
Your tongue is the also one of the strongest muscle in your bodyand is able to heal from injury more quickly than other parts of your body. Not only can your tongue taste, but it also picks up the texture and temperature in your food like creamy, crunchy, hot or dry.
Flavors are created through a combination of what taste buds understand with the texture and the smell of food. There are five flavors: salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami. Sometimes you wonder why sweet food taste different if there were only five flavors? That’s because our favorite candy might be a combination of sweet and salty. Everything you taste is one or more combinations of these five flavors.
- Sweet – This flavor indicates the presence of sugars and carbohydrates.
- Salty – Our craving or dislike of salty foods change based on our need for electrolytes.
- Sour – This flavor comes from a variety of acids in our food.
- Bitter – Many toxic chemicals have a strong bitter taste.
- Umami – An unusual name, but this flavor comes from our ability to detect amino acids in the proteins found in meats and some types of cheese.
The best way to learn about taste is a taste activity. Try to find many food samples and follow the instruction for a taste exploration. I like the idea of starting with the food that is most typical of the 5 basic tastes, and then ask kids to group all other food into the 5 basic categories.
What all you need:
- Dark Chocolate
- Orange peel
- Lemon wedges
Add and subtract according to your convenience.
1. Get bits of all the ingredients in different bowls.
2. Make your child taste all the ingredients and let him/her differentiate to categories of Sweet, Salty, Sour and Bitter.
3. Click to Download Printable
Let your child explore different Experiment for Sense of Taste and put in categories. It really doesn’t have to be all right.
- Not all tastes can be recognized correct since they are a mix of sweet and salty sometimes, so the child may just pick one.
- The bitter taste was understood quite correctly.
- Children will use their Sense of Sight, to understand if the food looks appealing, then after Sense of Smell to figure out if it can be edible to eat and later Sense of Taste to taste it.
- Blindfold while playing this game can make it really tough to recognize taste, even for adults.
Eventually, Sense of Taste can be incorporated in a better way using the other senses too.