Taste and Temperature

By Anupum Pant

Unlike what is popularly believed, specific areas on your tongue do not actually sense different tastes. That part of science taught in elementary school is absolutely wrong. Different areas do have some kind of specialization, but essentially all of them can sense all kinds of taste because of the presence of clusters of specialized cells which sense all of the flavors together.

However, the temperature of your food greatly determines how the taste of it will be perceived by your tongue. A study published some time back studied and found this.

An increase in the temperature of food was responsible to send better electrical signals from the tongue to your brain. That’s the reason why warm beer tastes bitter and ice cream tastes much sweeter when it is molten.

Now, since ice cream is supposed to be consumed cold, it means that the perceived sweetness of it is much lesser. So, ice cream manufacturers have to add a significantly greater amount of sugar to it to make it taste sweeter at even lower temperatures. That extra sugar is definitely bad.

Crackers, as discussed in the podcast below actually taste extra salty when you cool them. That’s because saltiness perception is more sensitive when something is colder. A cold soup would definitely taste saltier.

Sweetness works opposite. Hotter it is, more sweeter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *