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Taste Sensations

The tongue contains many tiny bumps called papillae (pa-'pi-(,)le). These bumps sense the basic tastes of bitterness, saltiness, sourness, and sweetness. Each bump contains more than 200 taste buds.


Gather 4 coffee stirrers, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon cocoa powder, one lemon, and a glass of water. Use the coffee stirrer to place a sample of salt on the tip of your tongue. Record whether it tastes sweet, sour, bitter, or salty. Repeat the procedure on each section of your tongue, and record the taste. After you complete the experiment with the salt, rinse your mouth with water and repeat the experiment with the sugar, cocoa powder, and lemon. Be sure to rinse between each sample.


Examine your records. Did you notice any difference in taste between different parts of the tongue? Research to find out if taste on your tongue corresponds to different areas. Create a summary of your records and your research.

NSES C Develop an understanding of the behavior of organisms.

• Does the food leave a coating after swallowing? For example, shortenings, especially those with a high melting point, tend to leave a waxy coating in the mouth. Is the coating pleasant or unpleasant?

• How does the food sound when chewed? Potato chips are not crispy unless you can hear the crunch.

I List What are the sensory properties of food?

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