French scientists find a fat flavor

According to new study, the tongue may have a taste for cheesecake, french fries and butter cookies.

In experiments with rodents, French scientists identified a receptor on the tongue that appears to detect dietary fat. This counters the traditional view that tastebuds pick up just five basic flavours: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and "umami", a flavour associated with food additive monosodium glutamate (MSG).

The fact that the tongue harbours receptors for fatty acids could shed new light on appetite control and &to=' target=_blank>obesity, say the researchers, led by Philippe Besnard of the University of Bourgogne.

Scientists have speculated that the tongue may have a receptor designed to detect fat, but this study is the first to pinpoint one, say Besnard and his colleagues.

The receptor, a protein called CD36, is already known to exist in many tissues and is involved in fat storage, among other jobs. It also goes by the name of fatty acid transporter, or Fat, informs New Zealand Herald.

According to Food Navigator, for example, the salty taste is physically unique. It was recently discovered that taste receptors inside the human tongue require the shape and size of the sodium ion in order to register a salty taste, thus influencing the development of salt replacers.

In the same way therefore, the possible identification of a fat taste bud in humans – the next logical step - could help food makers develop products that satisfy consumer craving for the creamy mouthfeel and flavour that fat can give.

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Author`s name Editorial Team