Taste is quite natural to all of us. But how exactly the sense of taste works remains still a query. Well, there are present taste receptors in the taste buds of our tongue, which help us to identify five different kinds of flavors – sweet, salty, bitterness, sourness, and umami. Known as primary taste flavors, generally, this is what we associate with taste.
The generic process by which taste buds function:
However, the concept of taste goes much beyond it. It starts with perceiving the food item by identifying certain molecular changes. These are then chemically recognized, which triggers some sort of signal to the brain. The brain then makes certain decisions and responds back to the food molecules. The sense of smell also plays a major role here, as smell add in to the perception. For example, a sweet food item may generate likeliness while something bitter may respond reluctantly. In fact, there are reports, which state that brains can respond to one kind of food in a certain way while with others, it could be normal.
When does taste bud stop functioning?
While taste buds generally respond in a proper manner, many times we sense a loss of taste. This could be due to umpteen reasons. One could be the age factor. The taste receptors functioning in general start depleting after a certain age, which, in turn, results in loss of appetite. The other reason why the taste buds are not working could be cold and running nose. During this time, the olfactory organs stop working for a temporary amount of time. Since the sense of smell is related also contributes to the sense of taste, one cannot identify different flavors. While age factor is something, which cannot be done away with, cold and sneezing can be treated post which the taste buds start performing normally.
Taste is a gift from God and truly serves as one of the basic organs for functioning!