Why Does a Good Smell Mean Good Taste?

tasteYou have probably wondered why all the fast food is so tasty. It’s so hard to pass by a café with mouth-watering fries and not to order an appetizing hamburger. That’s because many food experts know how it’s important to aim to people’s smell too to succeed. This is the secret that many restaurants use to attract customers. Most of us have never thought of this. So, many questions relating to this phenomenon may arise, and we tried to answer the most common of them.

Q: How do we perceive taste and smell?

A: Taste and smell are different senses with different receptors, but they work closely together. More than 12 million receptors in our nose catch molecules of various chemicals flying in the air. Taste buds in the mouth are similar to the nasal receptors, but they can recognize only five main tastes: salty, sweet, sour, bitter and savory. When receptors are stimulated, they send signals to our brain.

Q: What does determine flavor: taste or smell?

A: Flavor is a combination of both olfactory and gustatory senses (smell and taste). However, the nasal receptors get a larger portion of molecules as they come from the outside and the mouth. Smell is responsible for the 90% of the food’s flavor. Due to this fact, a pleasant odor considerably enhances the taste.

Q: Who is in charge of the food’s taste?

A: When you open your fridge and look at the most ordinary labels, the vast majority of them is likely to contain the inscriptions like “natural flavor” or “artificial flavor”. These are the determinants of taste. We are used to these ingredients and rarely ponder over them. In fact, behind them, there is a huge industry which often remains inconspicuous. The names of these companies aren’t as well-known as the names of famous food brands because customers would never like the fact of their favorite tastes artificially created by humans in factories, not by nature.

Q: How do they work?

A: The flavor industry is similar to the magicians’ work – they can transform fish into a cake by simply changing its flavor with the use of chemicals. You don’t have to stop buying products in a supermarket because of these odd chemical compounds – they are safe. Both natural and artificial flavors are produced chemically. Natural ones are extracted from plants while artificial flavors are combinations of pure chemical substances. Natural additives don’t necessarily mean complete safety because many plants contain small doses of poisonous compounds. Nevertheless, the amount of any food additives are so small there’s no risk of health problems.

Knowing that aromatizer are responsible for the food taste won’t stop anyone from consuming their usual meals. However, you’d better think twice before stopping for an enticing hamburger which tastes good mostly because of its odor but not due to its nutritious qualities.


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