Taste belongs to our chemical sensing system, or the chemosenses. The complicated process of tasting begins when molecules released by the substances stimulate special cells in the mouth or throat. These special sensory cells transmit messages through nerves to the brain where specific tastes are identified. Gustatory or taste cells react to food and beverages. These surface cells in the mouth send taste information to their nerve fibers. The taste cells are clustered in the taste buds of the mouth and throat. Many of the small bumps that can be seen on the tongue contain taste buds. Smell contributes to our sense of taste, as does another chemosensory mechanism called the common chemical sense. In this system, thousands of nerve endings—especially on the moist surfaces of the eyes, nose, mouth, and throat—give rise to sensations like the sting of ammonia, the coolness of menthol, and the irritation of chili peppers. We can commonly identify four basic taste sensations: sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. In the mouth these tastes, along with texture, temperature, and the sensations from the common chemical sense, combine with odors to produce a perception of flavor. It is flavor that lets us know whether we are eating a pear or an apple. Flavors are recognized mainly through the sense of smell. If you hold your nose while eating chocolate, for example, you will have trouble identifying the chocolate flavor—even though you can distinguish the foods sweetness or bitterness. That is because the familiar flavor of chocolate is sensed largely by odor. So is the well-known flavor of coffee.
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1. To perceive through the gustatory system. 2. The sensation produced by a suitable stimulus applied to the t. buds. [It. tastare; L. tango, to touch]
- after-t. aftertaste.
- color t. a form of synesthesia in which the color sense and t. are associated, with stimulation of either sense inducing a subjective sensation in the associated sense. SYN: pseudogeusesthesia.
- franklinic t. a metallic or sour t. produced by the application of static electricity to the tongue. SYN: voltaic t..
- voltaic t. SYN: franklinic t..
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taste 'tāst vb, tast·ed; tast·ing vt to ascertain the flavor of by taking a little into the mouth vi to have a specific flavor <the milk \tastes sour>
taste n
1) the one of the special senses that is concerned with distinguishing the sweet, sour, bitter, or salty quality of a dissolved substance and is mediated by taste buds on the tongue
2) the objective sweet, sour, bitter, or salty quality of a dissolved substance as perceived by the sense of taste
3) a sensation obtained from a substance in the mouth that is typically produced by the stimulation of the sense of taste combined with those of touch and smell: FLAVOR

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the sense for the appreciation of the flavour of substances in the mouth. The sense organs responsible are the taste buds on the surface of the tongue, which are stimulated when food dissolves in the saliva in the mouth. It is generally held that there are four basic taste sensations - sweet, bitter, sour, and salt - but two others - alkaline and metallic - are sometimes added to this list.

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(tāst) [L. gustus] 1. the sense effected by the gustatory receptors in the tongue. Four qualities are distinguished by taste: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. 2. the act of perceiving by this sense.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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