Kitchen Chemistry: Sweet and Sour

Why food can taste sweet or sour


Lemonade One of the great things about food is the way it tastes – and that’s all down to chemistry!

On and around our tongues we have special receptors that experience chemical reactions when something enters our mouth.

However, did you know taste is mostly smell? That’s why if you hold your nose while drinking something like milk, it can totally change the way it tastes – cool huh?

Lemonade is yummy! Most people like sweet things. Sweetness is detected by the presence of certain molecules – and if you have a slice of lemon in your drink, its bitterness comes from molecules in the lemon too.

Fish and ChipsReceptor cells on your taste buds are looking out for the different taste molecules and if they detect them, they’ll send the information to your brain.

Do you like salt and vinegar on your chips? Saltiness and sourness come from types of molecules called salts and acids. Receptors on the taste buds are so sensitive, they can detect the tiniest amounts. So easy on the salt!

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