“I would definitely order that again!” “I love that restaurant – every time I eat there I thoroughly enjoy my food.”

We have all had a similar flavor experience, but have you ever considered why you loved that dish or restaurant? What makes food “tasty”? Our perception of flavor is a complex combination of both our emotions and our biology. We experience flavors with our nose, tongue, eyes and even ears! Aromas, flavors, colors and settings can all impact our perception of the eating occasion. Kalsec’s Food Scientists understand this complex interaction and know how to magnify, reduce or modify flavor — crafting tasty dishes that satisfy.

Flavor Impacts Us Both Emotionally and Physically

It is a combination of how we perceive taste, aroma and somatosensory stimuli. However, it is much more than just these inputs. A food’s appearance and texture, our emotional state while eating and even the ambiance of the restaurant or kitchen where we are dining all influence our perception of the flavor.

Taste Is Detected By Our Many Tastebuds

We have around 3,000-5,000 taste buds, and each taste bud contains 50-100 neuroepithelial cells that respond to food. While most of these taste buds reside on the tongue, they can also be found in the throat, epiglottis, nasal cavity and esophagus.

We used to think that different parts of the tongue detect different tastes. Many of us have seen maps showing
how our tongues sense sweet at the tip, bitter in the back, and salty and sour at the sides. It is not quite that simple. In fact, all parts of the tongue have receptors for all tastes. How something tastes is not just about the food’s individual notes, but how those notes blend together.

An Inside Look at Taste & Sensory Solutions

This was an excerpt from the premiere issue of Crafting Taste, a new online publication from Kalsec. Continue reading the full article to learn more about the body’s perception of taste and how this changes the flavor experience.

Read more behind-the-scenes from the people Crafting Taste:

Crafting Taste Magazine cover

Crafting Taste

Read more inspiration from the culinary team at Kalsec.

Check Out the Latest Issue


About the Author

portrait of Laura Lafond, food scientistLaura Lafond received her bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Technology from Michigan State University and she is working toward her master’s degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition. At Kalsec, her role as a Food Scientist on the Taste and Sensory Innovation team allows her to work with multiple food matrices and many different customers with a focus on pickles and heat/pungent products.

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