Do you believe that every food tastes different? Can you tell what defines the taste of food? Certainly, you are aware of flavours and you know it’s because of different types of flavours we can differentiate the taste of food.
Right from our ancestors’ time to date, flavours have played a major role in our lives. Now, you may say but in the good old days, they didn’t even have the resources to create flavours or understand the importance of it. So, let’s go back in time to tell you how it all began.
Flavours have always been a part of human history. Flavours come from nature and everything about it is real. How do you fathom the difference between different foods? It’s palpably because of flavours. You can tell when a particular food is sweet, salty, bitter or sour and that is because our taste buds are signalled by our brain to detect the same. But, do you know how this gets even simpler? It’s because of the different flavours used in these food items. There are various flavour manufacturers who supply different flavours. A Chef often experiments with flavours to get something new to the table and by now it’s quite evident that taste and flavour go hand in hand.
The tongue is not the only sensory organ that helps you to sense flavour, it’s the brain that perceives taste
Startled? You should be. The taste buds first perform the initial task of recognition. This message of taste is then carried to the brain through cranial nerves. The brainstem receives the signal and then it is sent to the thalamus in the brain. The thalamus passes this signal into the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex where the taste is finally interpreted. The nerve cells which carry this message of taste from tongue to brain are called neurotransmitters.
It all starts in the womb
Unbelievable, right? But it’s true and research has proven this fact. Don’t believe it? Two sets of studies were carried out on 10 pregnant ladies (during their pregnancy and after delivery). The 10 pregnant women were divided into 2 groups. Five of them were given food that contained cinnamon powder and the remaining 5 women were served food without cinnamon powder. After delivery, all 10 babies were made to smell the cinnamon soaked cotton ball. The researchers were amazed at how the children of the mothers who had food with cinnamon powder were not averse to the swab but the other group of children were averse to it.
Stories can impact our taste
If the food that you are having has an interesting story behind its making, then that story can greatly influence your taste. A story behind a recipe, its chef, restaurant or ingredient can delight the brain and influence the taste. We love to connect with what we eat, for e.g., most of us are eager to know who bakes our bread, how our favourite coffee is roasted, etc. Maybe this is one of the reasons why “grandma’s” recipe has always been popular.
We eat with our eyes
The colour red indicates a fiery feel. Any food that is red in colour gives our brain a signal of it being hot in nature. It is since birth that humans associate with certain colours and flavours, especially with various types of foods. If you see a yellow pudding, you habitually consider it having a banana or lemon flavour to it. The way we see our food affects its taste. Certain colours seem to stimulate our taste buds, while some are capable of killing our appetite.
Supertasters with unique taste buds
They are the people whose tongue works a bit extra better than average. Food & beverages companies rely on them to fine-tune their recipes before they hit the market. They not only taste the samples provided by their company but also are required to taste, compare and analyse their competitor’s products. Supertasters help to create new food products and improve the existing ones. Traits of Supertasters: Should not be colour blind, good sensory acuity, nonsmoker and should not be allergic to any food.
So, hope these facts enlighten you? You can always learn more about flavours from the best flavour manufacturing companies in the country.