Thursday, 19 March 2015

Taste Testing Without Smell

We all know that some foods taste better than others but what gives us the ability to experience all these unique flavours? This simple experiment shows that there's a lot more to taste than you might have first thought.
What you'll need:
  • A small piece of peeled potato
  • A small piece of peeled apple (same shape as the potato so you can't tell the difference)

Instructions:
  1. Close your eyes and mix up the piece of potato and the piece of apple so you don't know which is which.
  2. Hold your nose and eat each piece, can you tell the difference?

What's happening?
Holding your nose while tasting the potato and apple makes it hard to tell the difference between the two. Your nose and mouth are connected through the same airway which means that you taste and smell foods at the same time. Your sense of taste can recognize salty, sweet, bitter and sour but when you combine this with your sense of smell you can recognize many other individual 'tastes'. Take away your smell (and sight) and you limit your brains ability to tell the difference between certain foods.