Let’s try to taste food without our nose!

What’s it going to taste like? Have you ever been sick before and noticed your food tastes differently?

  1. Get a peppermint candy & unwrap it.
  2. Plug your nose, tightly!
  3. With your nose plugged, put the mint in your mouth.
  4. Can you taste anything?  I hope not!
  5. Unplug your nose…and poof!  You can smell the mint and taste the sweetness.
  6. How did this happen?  Air flows through your nose & mouth, freely throughout the day.  However, when you are plugging your nose the minty aromas from the mint are not being pulled into the nasal passage and therefore cannot interact with the membranes in your nose to send signals to your brain about the flavor of food in your mouth.  Your tongue tastes the 5 basic tastes – sweet, salty, sour, bitter & savory. Your nose detects the flavor.  Without your nose, your food does not have any flavor.
  7. Food has to have flavor in it, so we can have a complete sensory experience while eating.  Some food has naturally occurring flavors in them, like fruits. Other foods, like granola bars, have flavors added to them.

Want to hear more? Watch a video to explain what’s happening:  “How do we smell?” by Rose Eveleth.  https://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-do-we-smell-rose-eveleth