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44 votes
Accepted

Are drugs made bitter artificially to prevent being mistaken for candy?

Short answer A bittering agent may be applied to therapeuticals to prevent pediatric poisonings, but many drugs inherently taste bitter by themselves. Background Bitter taste is thought to have ...
AliceD's user avatar
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40 votes

Why do some vegetables taste bitter?

Nice question! Many vegetables taste bitter because they contain compounds known as phytonutrients (Greek phyto = "plant"). There are more than 2500 phytonutrients known, and the most important (and ...
another 'Homo sapien''s user avatar
37 votes

Do viruses or bacteria have a flavour?

So I think this is a more conversational kind of question. I will address some misconceptions you have, and I will try to keep it brief, considering the nature and depth of your question. One could ...
S Pr's user avatar
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36 votes
Accepted

Do viruses or bacteria have a flavour?

As you could imagine, a systematic cataloguing of bacterial or viral flavor profiles would violate a number of biosafety protocols. However, in a laboratory setting, different bacteria definitely have ...
MikeyC's user avatar
  • 4,641
28 votes
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Loss of taste and smell during a SARS-CoV-2 infection

This is not completely clear to say the least, but there are some hints. Please keep in mind that there was not much time for extensive research, since this disease is still quite new. What seems ...
Chris's user avatar
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28 votes
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Can we taste electrons?

Short answer Yes, taste sensations can be generated electrically. However, we cannot taste electrons themselves, as taste-receptor proteins on the taste receptor cells are not activated by electrons. ...
AliceD's user avatar
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25 votes
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Why is water flavorless?

Consumer water is not flavorless. Sources of flavor include (1) the chemical and microbial content, which is most influenced by geology and ecology; (2) chemicals added or removed during water ...
AliceD's user avatar
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16 votes
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Why do some vegetables taste bitter?

Bitter taste is sensed by bitter sensitive gustducin receptors (T2R family). There are different types of bitter receptors and they can be triggered by different kinds of ligands. Different classses ...
WYSIWYG's user avatar
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13 votes
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Why do Hot/Cold drinks taste sweeter once returning to room temperature?

Generally, cold suppresses sweetness. As an example, consider soft drinks that are usually served cold: they taste sweeter when warm (like you said with your examples of drinks). Our taste receptors ...
Ebbinghaus's user avatar
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10 votes
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Why do many people seem to prefer unhealthy compared to healthy foods?

It's a very simple answer. "Unhealthy" foods, for example potato chips, sugary drinks, and other fatty, cheesy or sugary edible items, have only been around a few hundred (at most) years. In ...
Malhar Khushu's user avatar
6 votes

Do viruses or bacteria have a flavour?

Already 2 good answers (MikeyC and S PRr), but one point missing: We are very good at detecting the presence of some bacteria and fungi in our food in unhealty amount. We detect (by smell or taste) ...
fraxinus's user avatar
  • 277
6 votes
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Is chocolate poisonous?

Alkaloid synthesis is energy consuming for plants and have complex metabolic pathway. If their evolutionary history is not known with certainty, they have numerous uses and are often toxic to ...
A. Bourgoin's user avatar
4 votes

Why there are no plants that offer salt fruits as opposed to sweet fruits?

Soil salinity and sodicity cause severe problems in agriculture worldwide, and salt tolerance in crops is an extremely important trait and a major focus of research. Detrimental effects of high ...
Tom V.'s user avatar
  • 321
4 votes

Additive property of taste

I would classify the neurological phenomenon of "taste" or "tastyness" as an emergent property (1), and therefore synergistic (i.e. not adequately explained simply by additive effects). For example, ...
MikeyC's user avatar
  • 4,641
3 votes

Why and how does falsifying sensory information work?

These are learning phenomena you describe. I'll try to explain a simple way to think about this. By default, sweet foods are appetitive and, for instance, strongly bitter foods are aversive. However, ...
S Pr's user avatar
  • 6,172
3 votes

Why is your taste affected due to sinuses?

The first thing which is important to note is the difference between taste and flavor. Taste refers to the chemical sense performed by taste buds present on the tongue, and to date there have been ...
Filipe Rocha's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

Tea that makes everything taste like dirt

This sounds like gymnemic acid, which can be isolated from the leaves of Gymnema sylvestre. It’s an “anti-sweet” compound, which wouldn’t necessarily make everything taste like dirt but might do so ...
Dubukay's user avatar
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2 votes
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Why do children prefer sweeter foods?

@Colombo explains one reason that I think is obvious. However, there has been some research done on this. One other reason is because it would provide an evolutionary advantage in environments where ...
TanMath's user avatar
  • 3,079
2 votes
Accepted

Are all tastes just a combination of sour, sweet, bitter, etc.?

Interesting question. The brain perceives taste or flavor as a combination of input from taste buds, the olfactory system, and even pain receptors (spicy foods). Other food contents, such as metal, ...
Minnow's user avatar
  • 544
2 votes

What does DNA taste like?

Youtube chemist NileRed chemically extracted DNA from strawberries in this video, he also tastes it if I remember correctly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=araeHtN_3Lk TL;DW: He gets the DNA from ...
nkeck72's user avatar
  • 21
1 vote
Accepted

How do farmers tell if their fruits are sweet without eating them?

A relative of mine tells me that when she goes to buy fruits, she asks the vendor if the fruits are sweet. Surprisingly, the vendor is able to tell (the vendor is apparently willing to divulge this ...
Roger Vadim's user avatar
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1 vote

Additive property of taste

Long answer from a non-biologist. I was dreaming about explaining coffee flavors as an n-dimensional space spanned by the discrete detectable flavors/aromas present in a cup. In this model, a single ...
PetMetz's user avatar
  • 19
1 vote

Why don't vegetables taste good despite being healthful?

We are evolved to survive starvation, and live to be perhaps 35. So fatty foods with lots of calories taste good to us. Our genes (and preferences) lag thousands of years behind our present ...
Karl Kjer's user avatar
  • 7,647
1 vote

Is bad tasting food more likely to cause harm?

tl;dr; If someone likes a food item, then even if it taste not so great to you, it will probably not harm you. If a food item taste awful to everybody (in particular bitter), then it would probably be ...
cagliari2005's user avatar
  • 2,903
1 vote

Why do Hot/Cold drinks taste sweeter once returning to room temperature?

I found an article (1) which may help you understand what happened on your tongue: Light cooling from 37 to 21°C of beverages increases your sweet taste adaption, but not actual sweetness of your ...
TheGreenOne's user avatar
1 vote

Why do fishes have both a gustatory and an olfactory system?

In addition to olfactory and gustatory, fishes have two more chemoreceptor systems, solitary chemoreceptor cells and free nerve endings (Finger TE 1997). Asking why do they have all these chemorecepor ...
Dexter's user avatar
  • 2,396

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