Taste Buds and Gustatory Cortex

  • Taste buds are located on the tongue, roof, sides, back of the mouth, and throat.
  • The tongue is covered with papillae, which contain taste buds.
  • Each taste bud contains 50 to 100 taste receptor cells.
  • Taste buds can detect the five basic tastes: sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, and umami.
  • Taste buds interact with different molecules or ions to distinguish different tastes.
  • The gustatory cortex is responsible for the perception of taste.
  • It processes the signals received from taste buds.
  • The gustatory cortex is located in the brain.
  • It helps in identifying and distinguishing different tastes.
  • Damage to the gustatory cortex can affect the sense of taste.

Basic Tastes

  • The five basic tastes are sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, and umami.
  • Sweetness helps identify energy-rich foods.
  • Sourness can signal under-ripe or spoiled foods.
  • Saltiness is important for ion and water homeostasis in the body.
  • Bitterness can warn against potential poisons.
  • Umami is the taste of savory and meaty flavors.

Factors Affecting Taste

  • Taste is influenced by factors such as smell, texture, temperature, and coolness/hotness.
  • Smell, detected by the olfactory epithelium, contributes to the flavor of food.
  • Texture is detected through various mechanoreceptors.
  • Temperature receptors detect the temperature of food.
  • Coolness (menthol) and hotness (pungency) are detected by chemesthesis.

Taste Perception

  • Taste perception can change with aging.
  • Tongue papillae are lost and saliva production decreases with age.
  • Distortion of tastes (dysgeusia) can occur in humans.
  • Different mammals have different taste abilities.
  • Some animals have lost the ability to sense certain tastes.

Subtopics (Sweetness, Sourness, Saltiness, Bitterness, Umami)

  • Sweetness is produced by sugars and sugar mimics.
  • Sweetness is detected by G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) on taste buds.
  • Activation of at least two different sweetness receptors is required for the brain to register sweetness.
  • The sweetness receptors are T1R2+3 (heterodimer) and T1R3 (homodimer).
  • Natural sweeteners activate GPCR and release gustducin, while synthetic sweeteners activate different GPCRs.
  • Sourness detects acidity.
  • Sourness is rated relative to dilute hydrochloric acid.
  • Type III taste receptor cells detect sour taste.
  • H+ ions can directly enter taste cells through a proton channel.
  • Sourness causes taste cells to fire action potentials and release neurotransmitter.
  • Saltiness has a low-salt signal and a high-salt signal.
  • The low-salt signal is caused by the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC).
  • ENaC allows sodium cations to enter taste cells and depolarize them.
  • Potassium, lithium, and rubidium ions trigger the low-salt signal.
  • The saltiness of substances is rated relative to sodium chloride (NaCl).
  • Bitterness is perceived as unpleasant and sharp.
  • Bitter taste has multiple receptors and signal transduction pathways.
  • Bitter substances bind to G protein-coupled receptors.
  • Gustducin and phosphodiesterase are involved in the transduction pathway.
  • Bitterness is found in various foods and beverages, including coffee, cocoa, and bitter gourd.
  • Umami is detected by taste receptors for glutamate.
  • The receptors are coupled to the G protein Gα-gustducin.
  • Umami taste enhances the perception of other flavors.
  • Foods rich in umami include tomatoes, mushrooms, and soy sauce.

Taste Mentions


Taste Data Sources

Reference URL
Glossary https://www.alternix.com/blogs/glossary-of-terms/taste
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taste
Wikidata https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q124794
Knowledge Graph https://www.google.com/search?kgmid=/m/02z3fc