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Scientists researching how people perceive taste claim to have discovered a sixth sense allowing people to recognise carbohydrates on top of sweet, sour, salty, savoury and bitter tastes.
The Huffington Post reports that participants in the research where asked to press a button that release one of three fluid mixes - the first two were sweetened identically with one containing carbohydrates, the third contained nothing. What researchers found was that the participants who received the mix containing carbohydrates showed a 30% increase of activity in parts of the brain that control movement and vision. The results suggest that the brain reacts this way thanks to a signal from the mouth suggesting that carbs are on the way - which in turn suggest that our tongue can somehow taste the those carbs.
The idea may not have much affect on the cooking world as unlike other tastes it doesn’t seem to be identified in such a strong way. The team behind the project hope to use the finding to develop new, more rewarding ways, of creating artificially sweetened foods.
The finding may actually have to be the seventh sense of taste after researcher in the U.S., earlier this year, reported the discovery of chemical receptors on the tongue that can detect certain fat molecules.
Although the discoveries are attributed to scientific studies, chefs will surely benefit from a better understanding of the tongue, how it works and what exactly it can taste.