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The science of nutrition and healthy eating
The science of nutrition and healthy eating

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1 How we taste food

Have you ever wondered how we taste food?

Watch the video clip The secrets of your food [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , which shows how we taste food through our nose.

Activity 1 Can you taste this?

Timing: Allow approximately 25 minutes.

For this activity you will need:

  • a blindfold
  • something to close your nose safely (your fingers or a swimmer’s nose clip)
  • an assistant who can choose three foods that you will not know (a mouthful of each one)
  • a glass of water.
  1. First, make sure that you are blindfolded and your nose is blocked.
  2. Ask your assistant to put food number 1 in your mouth. Then guess what it is. This person must not give anything away!
  3. Next, unblock your nose while you are still chewing and guess again.
  4. Wash out your mouth with water.
  5. Repeat the process for food number 2 and 3.
    • What did you notice?
    • Could you taste the foods?
  6. Now take your blindfold off. Did you guess the foods correctly?


You might have guessed the food by its texture or taste and smell and look. This is what we do every time we eat. If the food does not look good, or smell nice, you are less likely to eat it. If you have a cold and cannot smell, often food does not taste as nice.