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

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1.1 The science bit

Often, the first sense is the smell of food, even before you have seen it. You have probably smelt bread, coffee or baking that makes you feel hungry. But if you have anosmia (lack of ability to smell), you cannot smell and the taste of food is altered.

The second sense is sight. The look of the meal has an effect on whether you would eat it. For example, would you eat insects if you saw them (Figure 1)?

Edible insects for sale at a market in Bangkok, Thailand
Figure 1 Edible insects for sale at a market in Bangkok, Thailand

In some cultures, insects are a good source of protein. It is called entomophagy when humans use insects as food.

The third sense in combination with smell and sight is taste. The tongue’s receptors can recognise different tastes in different parts (Figure 2).

Taste receptors on the tongue
Figure 2 Taste receptors on the tongue

Put all of this together and you get the taste of food, which is an amazing sensory experience.

Now watch the video clip Sneaky strawberries [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] which looks at the sweetness of strawberries and blueberries.

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