Taste is the ability to respond to dissolved molecules and ions called tastants. Taste is a chemical sense perceived by specialized receptor cells that make up taste buds. In humans, the chemoreceptors that detect taste are called gustatory receptor cells.
Taste Buds The numerous wart-like bumps on the mucous membrane of the tongue are where the substance producing the taste is transformed into a nerve signal. These bumps are called taste papillae. They contain many sensory cells with a special structure.
What are Taste Buds? Taste buds are the true taste organ. They have numerous sensory cells that are in turn connected to many different nerve fibers. Each taste bud has between 10 and 50 sensory cells. These cells form a capsule that is shaped like a flower bud or and orange. Adults have between 2,000 and 4,000 taste buds in total. The sensory cells in the taste buds are renewed once a week.
Most of the taste buds are on the tongue. BUT there are also cells that detect taste elsewhere inside the oral cavity: - Roof of your mouth - Throat - Esophagus
Sweet foods usually had calories. Salty foods had important vitamins and minerals. Sour foods could be healthy like oranges or spoiled like rotten milk. Bitter taste were often poisonous Umami has only just entered the food cannon. – It is a flavor enhancer used in many processed foods and in Asian dishes.
FUN FACTS! Taste buds only live 10-14 days, they constantly regenerate. As we age the number of taste receptors on our tongue quickly decline. Try holding your nose the next time you eat something. You’ll notice that your taste buds are able to tell your brains something about what you’re eating- that its sweet for instance but you wont be able to pick the exact flavor until you let go of your nose.