Bit into your favourite food, and immediately your sense of taste is activated. But just how does this amazing process work?
Consider your tongue-as well as other parts of your mouth and throat-includes clusters of skin cells called “taste buds.” Many of which are located within papillae on the surface of the tongue. A taste bud contains up to a hundred receptor cells, each of which can detect one of four types of taste-sour, salty, sweet. Or bitter. Spicy is different category altogether. Spices stimulate pain receptors-not taste buds! In any event, taste-receptor calls are connected to sensory nerves that, when stimulated by chemicals in food, instantly transmitting signals to the lower brain stem.
Taste, however, involves more than your mouth. The five million odour receptors in your nose-which allows you to detect some 10,000 unique odours-plays a vital role in the tasting process. It has been estimated that about 75 percent of what we can taste is actually the result of what we smell.
Scientist have developed an electrochemical nose that uses chemical gas sensors as an artificial olfaction device. Nonetheless, neurophysiologist John Kauer quoted in Research/Penn State notes: “Any artificial device is going to be extremely simplistic in comparison to the biology, which is wonderfully elegant and sophisticated.”
No one would deny that the sense of taste adds pleasure to a meal. Researchers are still baffled, though, by what causes people to favour one type of taste over another. “Science have many of the basics of the human body down, “say Science Daily, “but our sense of taste and smell are still somewhat a mystery.”
What do you think? Did your sense of taste come about by chance? Or is this evidence of design?