Food and the 5 senses

Numbing taste buds

Numbing taste buds

Slide

Instructions:

Keep an ice cube in your mouth for a minute.

Remove the ice cube and immediately put a piece of fruit in your mouth.

Can you taste the fruit?

 

Wait two minutes then taste the fruit again.

Can you taste the fruit better?

 

Explanation:

The cold ice cube numbs your taste buds and inhibits any sensation. Hence it is difficult to taste the first piece of fruit. When your taste buds warm up, they can tell you about its taste again. So, the temperature of food and of your mouth can influence the intensity of your perception of tastes. This is also the reason why cold food may taste less sweet than hot food, even when they contain the same amount of sugar.