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The Science of Taste

Edited by Ole G Mouritsen

Noting that, in general, our understanding of taste is inferior to our knowledge of the other human senses, an interdisciplinary symposium, The Science of Taste, took place in August 2014 and brought together an international group of scientists and practitioners from a range of different disciplines to discuss progress in the science of taste.

The Symposium led to the following special collection of articles, published in the journal Flavour, which aims to provide a composite mosaic of our current understanding of taste.

This collection of articles has not been sponsored and articles have undergone the journal’s standard peer-review process. The Guest Editors declare no competing interests.

  1. Short report

    Sensory taste preferences and taste sensitivity and the association of unhealthy food patterns with overweight and obesity in primary school children in Europe—a synthesis of data from the IDEFICS study

    Increased preference for fat and sugar or reduced taste sensitivity may play a role in overweight and obesity development, but sensory perceptions are probably influenced already during childhood by food cultu...

    Wolfgang Ahrens

    Flavour 2015 4:8

    Published on: 4 March 2015

  2. Opinion

    Place-based taste: geography as a starting point for deliciousness

    Nordic Food Lab (NFL) is a non-profit, open-source organisation that investigates food diversity and deliciousness. We combine scientific and cultural approaches with culinary techniques from around the world ...

    Joshua Evans, Roberto Flore, Jonas Astrup Pedersen and Michael Bom Frøst

    Flavour 2015 4:7

    Published on: 2 March 2015

  3. Opinion

    Neuroenology: how the brain creates the taste of wine

    Flavour science is concerned with the sensory appreciation of food. However, flavor is not in the food; it is created by the brain, through multiple sensory, motor, and central behavioral systems. We call this...

    Gordon M Shepherd

    Flavour 2015 4:19

    Published on: 2 March 2015

  4. Opinion

    Taste receptors in the gastrointestinal system

    In the last 15 years, advancements in molecular biology have unraveled the proteins that function as taste receptors. There are at least five taste qualities that are consciously perceived, sweet, sour, salty,...

    Ana M San Gabriel

    Flavour 2015 4:14

    Published on: 26 February 2015

  5. Opinion

    Flavours: the pleasure principle

    Flavour perception reflects the integration of distinct sensory signals, in particular odours and tastes, primarily through the action of associative learning. This gives rise to sensory interactions derived f...

    John Prescott

    Flavour 2015 4:15

    Published on: 16 February 2015

  6. Opinion

    Taste and appetite

    In this short paper, I discuss two interpretations of the implications of food reward for healthy eating. It is often argued that foods that are palatable and provide sensory pleasure lead to overeating. I dis...

    Per Møller

    Flavour 2015 4:4

    Published on: 9 February 2015

  7. Review

    Is fat the sixth taste primary? Evidence and implications

    Taste is the chemical sense responsible for the detection of non-volatile chemicals in potential foods. For fat to be considered as one of the taste primaries in humans, certain criteria must be met including ...

    Russell SJ Keast and Andrew Costanzo

    Flavour 2015 4:5

    Published on: 3 February 2015

  8. Short report

    The important role of umami taste in oral and overall health

    There is a close relationship between an individual’s perception of umami taste and that individual’s physical condition. Our newly developed umami taste sensitivity test revealed the loss of only the umami ta...

    Takashi Sasano, Shizuko Satoh-Kuriwada and Noriaki Shoji

    Flavour 2015 4:10

    Published on: 26 January 2015

  9. Opinion

    Science of umami taste: adaptation to gastronomic culture

    This paper reviews the points behind the more than a hundred-year delay for the acceptance of umami as a basic taste along with the sweet, sour, salty, and bitter tastes after its discovery by a Japanese scien...

    Kumiko Ninomiya

    Flavour 2015 4:13

    Published on: 26 January 2015

  10. Editorial

    The science of taste

    An understanding and description of our sensory perception of food requires input from many different scientific disciplines: in addition to the natural and life sciences, human sciences, social sciences, as w...

    Ole G Mouritsen

    Flavour 2015 4:18

    Published on: 26 January 2015