Taste Matters

By John Prescott, Ph.D. | The science of food perceptions & preferences

Feel the burn: why do we love chilli?

It’s not just about the flavour – or even the pain. In this extract from his new book, Bob Holmes uncovers the pharmacology and psychology behind humanity’s heat-seeking desire<p>I<b>’</b>ve been procrastinating. On my dining room table I have lined up three hot peppers: one habanero, flame-orange and …

Psychology

“Just my imagination” (da un articolo di John Prescott)

Il lento tempo agostano è l’occasione per ingozzarmi di frivolezze e ignoranza. A tal proposito leggevo un articolo di John Prescott, direttore del …

Why (Some) Substitutes Don't Satisfy Us

When we can't get what we want, are we better off looking for something new or something similar to what we initially sought? The choice makes or …

Psychology

Neuro cuisine: exploring the science of flavour

Colour, sound and shape are just as important as sugar and salt in determining how food tastes. Why do senses combine in our brains - and will a red light bulb really make cake sweeter? Tamal Ray takes us on a scientific tour of gastrophysics

Food

Sniffing Out Alzheimer’s: Olfaction as a Diagnostic and Research Tool

The sense of smell has often provided us valuable insights into disease progression and treatments. Now, a recent study has shown that changes in the …

Alzheimer's Disease

The Green Flash: The Colorful Scientific Journey of Dr. Charles Wysocki

Share this post<p>Chuck Wysocki first walked in the door of Monell in May of 1978. About to complete his doctorate in behavioral neuroscience at Florida …

Science Explains Why You Can't Stop Eating Potato Chips

You might think fatty foods are delicious, but fat alone isn't actually very appetizing. (The true taste of fat, according to recent research, tastes …

Nutrition

Monell Chemical Senses Center

Unraveling the Enigma of Salty Taste Detection<p>New findings could help identify successful salt replacer or enhancer<p>PHILADELPHIA (February 11, 2016) – …

Why we eat too much

Almost 20 years ago, psychology professor and biologist Paul Rozin tested a theory about food. Many people believed their bodies were good at telling …

How your taste buds could help tackle obesity

With rates of obesity growing across the globe, researchers are on a mission to identify new strategies to tackle the problem. According to a new …

How MSG Got A Bad Rap: Flawed Science And Xenophobia

As a college student in New York City, I marveled that the city let me eat poached eggs with halloumi cheese and Moroccan spiced pita for breakfast, …

The New England Journal of Medicine

From The Tongue To The Brain

Survival might not be top of mind when you are feasting on a filet mignon in butter sauce on a night out, but the taste receptors sparked into action …

No diet, no detox: how to relearn the art of eating

Our relationship with food has become disordered and obsessive. As the new year brings diet madness, it needn’t be such a struggle to learn good eating habits<p>So many of our anxieties around diet take the form of a search for the perfect food, the one that will cure all our ills. Eat this! Don’t eat …

Eating

Sweet Memories: Eating Sweets Forms Memories That Control Eating Habits

<b>Eating sweet foods causes the brain to form a memory of a meal, according to researchers at Georgia State University, Georgia Regents University and</b> …

Beyond Taste Buds: The Science of Delicious

Story by <b>David Owen</b><p>Photographs by <b>Brian Finke</b><p>Published November 13, 2015<p>This story is part of National Geographic's Future of Food initiative, a special five-year project that seeks to show how what we eat makes us who we are.<p>Julie Mennella, a biologist who studies the sense of taste in babies and …

Food

Why Do Most Languages Have So Few Words for Smells?

And why do these two hunter-gatherer groups have so many?<p>Describe a banana. It's yellow, perhaps with some green edges. When peeled, it has a smooth, soft, mushy texture. It tastes sweet, maybe a little creamy.<p>And it smells like... well, it smells like a banana.<p>Every sense has its own “lexical …

Language

The Illusion of Taste | The New Yorker

Sitting in a pub one night a dozen years ago, Charles Spence realized that he was in the presence of the ideal experimental model: the Pringles potato chip. Spence, a professor of experimental psychology at Oxford University, runs the Crossmodal Research Lab there, which studies how the brain …

Food

Tasting a Flavor That Doesn't Exist

Scientists and food companies are experimenting with “phantom aromas,” in which a smell tricks the brain into manufacturing a taste.<p>In 2007, the Campbell Soup Company started slashing the salt content in its canned soups in an effort to be more health-conscious. But the move, while it may have been …

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Not all cuisines are created equal, so which country has the worst food?

The job of comparing cuisines is not simple but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. The truth is there are countries where the quality just isn’t very good<p>We have no problem scoring restaurants, ranking them or handing out awards, but what about an entire cuisine? Can we really say that one …

Food

What the nose knows

Standfirst: <i></i>Losing your sense of smell takes away more than scents and flavours – it can fundamentally change the way you relate to other people, …

Biology

What's all the fuss about fizzy drinks?

Gin and tonic. Photo by Nathan Blaney/ Getty Images<p>Snap-click, ahh, gulp. It’s a familiar sound at a barbecue, an ingredient in summertime nostalgia. …

Monell Chemical Senses Center

Some Like It Sweet, Others Not So Much: It’s Partly in the Genes<p><i>Twin Study Suggests a Common Genetic Pathway Underlies Sweet Taste Perception of</i> …

That neat and tidy map of tastes on the tongue you learned in school is all wrong

Everybody has seen the tongue map – that little diagram of the tongue with different sections neatly cordoned off for different taste receptors. …

Sniffing could provide autism test

Health editor, BBC News website<p><b>The way children sniff different aromas could form the basis of a test for autism, suggest researchers in Israel.</b><p>People spend longer inhaling the delightful aroma of a bouquet of roses than the foul stench of rotting fish.<p>The results of tests on 36 children, in the …