Test your senses

Test your senses

Does food taste the same if you can't smell it? Try it and see!

Have you ever wondered why food loses its flavor when you have a cold? Don't blame your taste buds, it's your blocked up nose! There's a lot more to taste than you might think.

Tongue_96399947

Your tongue is important for taste and so is your nose!

Try this experiment and see.

What you need:

  • A small piece of peeled apple
  • A small piece of peeled potato
  • Two different flavours of yoghurt
  • A cup of water

How to:

  1. Close your eyes. Ask someone to mix up the pieces of apple and potato so you don't know which one is which.
  2. Pinch your nose and eat one of the pieces.
  3. Take a drink of water and then eat the other piece. Can you taste the difference?
  4. Now ask someone to mix up the flavours of yoghurt, so you don't know which one is which.
  5. Pinch your nose and taste one of the yoghurts.
  6. Take a drink of water and then taste the other flavour. Can you taste the difference?

Did you taste the difference between the apple and potato pieces? Could you tell the difference between the two flavours of yoghurt? If you can't smell the food does the texture become more important?

Try it on a friend and see if they can tell the difference.

Apple_71057479

Could you tell the difference between the apple and the potato?

Why does it work?

If you think about taste, you probably think about your tongue. But you couldn't taste anything without some help from the nose! Taste is actually much more complicated than just your tongue.

When you put food in your mouth this stimulates special nerve cells in the nose and mouth. These cells transmit messages to the brain, where specific smells or tastes are identified. So, your brain uses both the nose and mouth to taste food.

Smell and taste

Smells from food stimulate nerve cells in the nose

This means smell makes up a large part of our sense of taste. If you have a cold, the mucus becomes thick and blocks the passage between your nose and mouth. Result? Only your mouth is sending taste signals to your brain. This makes food taste bland and boring.

 

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