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Latest Taste Stories

2012-03-12 19:52:43

Animals live in surprisingly different sensory worlds Scientists from the Monell Center report that seven of 12 related mammalian species have lost the sense of sweet taste. As each of the sweet-blind species eats only meat, the findings demonstrate that a liking for sweets is frequently lost during the evolution of diet specialization. Previous research from the Monell team had revealed the remarkable finding that both domestic and wild cats are unable to taste sweet compounds due to...

2012-03-05 23:27:16

Does fat have a taste? About five years ago, animal studies first revealed the presence of entirely novel types of oral fat sensors or receptors on the tongue. Prior to this time, it was believed that fats were perceived only by flavor and texture cues. With this new information, “everything that we thought we knew about fat perception got turned on its head,” said Beverly Tepper, a professor in the Department of Food Science at Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological...

2012-02-09 21:22:34

Like to save the best for last? Here´s good news: If it´s the last, you´ll like it the best. That is the finding of a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. “Endings affect us in lots of ways, and one is this ℠positivity effect,´” says University of Michigan psychologist Ed O´Brien, who conducted the study with colleague Phoebe C. Ellsworth. Graduation from college, the last kiss before...

2012-02-03 19:00:20

A preference for fatty foods has a genetic basis, according to researchers, who discovered that people with certain forms of the CD36 gene may like high-fat foods more than those who have other forms of this gene. The results help explain why some people struggle when placed on a low-fat diet and may one day assist people in selecting diets that are easier for them to follow. The results also may help food developers create new low-fat foods that taste better. "Fat is universally...

2012-01-18 22:53:48

A nurse's tender loving care really does ease the pain of a medical procedure, and grandma's cookies really do taste better, if we perceive them to be made with love - suggests newly published research by a University of Maryland psychologist. The findings have many real-world applications, including in medicine, relationships, parenting and business. "The way we read another person's intentions changes our physical experience of the world," says UMD Assistant Professor Kurt Gray, author...

2012-01-12 21:43:00

Why do we like fatty foods so much? We can blame our taste buds. Our tongues apparently recognize and have an affinity for fat, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. They have found that variations in a gene can make people more or less sensitive to the taste of fat. The study is the first to identify a human receptor that can taste fat and suggests that some people may be more sensitive to the presence of fat in foods. The study is available...

2011-12-26 06:23:18

(Ivanhoe Newswire) — Infants around six months of age who have been introduced to starchy table foods- which often contain salt- have a greater preference for salty taste than do infants not yet eating these foods. The exposed infants consumed 55 percent more salt during a preference test than infants who weren´t introduce to starchy foods. At preschool age, the same infants were more likely to consume plain salt, demonstrating the enduring influence of early dietary exposure....

Harvard Researchers Use Facebook To Study How Friendships Form
2011-12-22 05:04:05

Long-term study analyzes social selection and peer influence in online environments New research funded by the National Science Foundation and published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by three Harvard University sociologists examines how we select our friends and the role that friendship plays in transmitting tastes and new ideas. Relationships are basic building blocks of society, and understanding who befriends whom can therefore provide insight into...

2011-12-15 17:22:11

North Americans and Western Europeans love a good mix of alpha-terpineol, 4-methylpentanoic acid and ethyl propionate for dinner, flavor compounds shared in popular ingredients like tomatoes, parmesan cheese and white wine. Authentic East Asian recipes, on the other hand, tend to avoid mixing ingredients with many shared flavor compounds, according to new complex networks research from Indiana, Harvard, Cambridge and Northeastern universities. In a search to uncover the patterns and...

2011-12-07 14:27:11

Long the bane of picky eaters everywhere, broccoli´s taste is not just a matter of having a cultured palate; some people can easily taste a bitter compound in the vegetable that others have difficulty detecting. Now a team of Penn researchers has helped uncover the evolutionary history of one of the genes responsible for this trait. Beyond showing the ancient origins of the gene, the researchers discovered something unexpected: something other than taste must have driven its evolution....