Taste and Smell = Flavor

woman with abdominal pain

Taste and Smell = Flavor

Taste and smell are sensations that result when specialized nerve receptors in the mouth and nose detect molecules. The ability to detect molecules in this manner referred to as chemoreception.

A taste is recognized by the brain after specialized nerves in the throat and tongue detect chemical molecules within ingested liquids or solids. In man, there are 4 basic classes of tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, and salt.

A smell is recognized by the brain after specialized nerves in the passages of the nose detect chemical molecules within the inhaled air.

The flavor of food is largely a combination of taste and smell sensations. (The consistency and temperature of foods also play a role in determining their "taste.")

For more, please visit the MedicineNet.com Nutrition Center.


Quick GuideDigestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions

Digestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions

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Reviewed on 10/24/2002

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