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Taste Buds Essay

Introduction: “Give people a taste of Old Crow and tell them it’s Old Crow. Then give them another taste of Old Crow, but tell them it’s Jack Daniels. Ask them which they prefer. They’ll think the two drinks are quite different. They are tasting images.” * David Ogilvy (Ogilvy, n.d., Pg.1)

Thesis: Taste is one of the 5 major senses, however, the concept and experience of taste is rather complicated. This will explore what taste buds are, which areas of the tongue sense what and how the whole taste experience works. Body: I. What are Taste Buds? (Wikipedia Taste bud, n.d., Pg. 1) (Nemours, n.d., Pg.1)

1) Basic Info

* They are found mostly on the tongue, but also on the roof of the mouth and the esophogas. * A human tongue contains 10,000 taste buds on average but elderly people only have about 5,000; smokers also have a reduced number of taste buds. * Taste buds replace themselves approximately every 2 weeks, but as you age some of them won’t re-grow.

2) Taste Buds…
* Are referred to as Papillae
* They contain receptors for taste; where food dissolved in saliva enters the taste pore and comes in contact with the taste receptors.

II. The 5 Taste Perceptions. (Wikipedia Taste, n.d., Pg.1) 1) Sweet
* Sweetness is detected by the tip if the tongue
* Sweet things include Candy, Fruit, Pop, Juice and Milk Chocolate.

2) Salty
* Saltiness is detected by the tip and the front half of the sides of the tongue.
* Salty things include Peanuts, Chips and Pretzels.

3) Sour
* Sourness is detected by the sides of the tongue.
* Sourness is the taste that senses acidity.
* Sour things include Lemons, Limes and Sour Candy.

4) Bitter
* Bitterness is detected by the back of the tongue.
* Bitterness is the taste that senses toxic poisons.
* Bitter things include Marmalade, Dark Chocolate, Coffee and Beer.

5) Umami
* Umaminess is detected throughout the tongue.
* Umami is an appetitive taste described to be savoury.
* Umami things include Beans, Cheese, Meats and Soya Sauce.
* The best way to describe Umaminess is MSG.

III. Further Taste Sensations. (Wikipedia Taste, n.d., Pg.2) 1) Calcium
* Is found in things like Milk.

2) Coolness
* Is found in things like Menthol and Spearmint.

3) Dryness
* Is found in things like Tea, Rhubarb, Nuts and Red Wine.

4) Fattiness
* Is found in things like Meat and anything deep fried.

5) Heartiness
* Is found in things containing Alcohol.

6) Spiciness
* Is found in things like Peppers and Spices.
Conclusion: What does it all mean? (Wikipedia Taste, n.d., Pg.1)
1) Basically…
* Basic taste and the flavour of food are only partially responsible for the whole experience.
* The other factors of the experience include Smell, Sight, Temperature and Texture.

2) In Conclusion
* If you consider examples in your own life it makes sense. Which do you prefer? Hot or Cold Pizza? Hot or Cold Coffee or Pop. The chemical composition does not change. It is all a perception of taste. Weird hey?


Nemours. (n.d.). What Are Taste Buds? Kids Health – the Web’s most visited site about children’s health. Retrieved February 6, 2012, from

Ogilvy, D. (n.d.). Finding quotations was never this easy. Find the famous quotes you need, Quotations.. Retrieved February 5, 2012, from

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Taste bud – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved February 6, 2012, from

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Taste – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved February 6, 2012, from

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