Our tongue is the sensory organ for taste.

It can detect four basic tastes :
• Salty
• Sweet
• Sour
• Bitter

Different areas of the tongue detect different tastes.


This diagram shows the areas of the tongue that respond to different tastes.


The chemicals of the food dissolve in our saliva as we chew. The dissolved chemicals then stimulate the taste receptors in our taste buds to produce nerve impulses, which are then sent to the brain where they will be indentified as tastes.


Our sense of smell improves our sense of taste. As we chew, some chemicals from the food dissolve in our saliva and stimulate the taste buds. But there are also some chemicals that move into our nasal passages. These chemicals stimulate the sensory cells in our nose.

The diagram shows the nasal passages

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The food is tasteless when you have a cold. Why? It's because the smell from the food cannot reach the sensory cells in the nose. This is because the passages in your nose are blocked. Since you cannot smell it, food seems tasteless.


Taste Bud
Taste buds are small structures on the upper surface of the tongue, soft palate, and epiglottis that provide information about the taste of food being eaten. A human tongue has about 10,000 taste buds.The bud is formed by two kinds of cells: supporting cells and gustatory cells. A single taste bud contains 50–100 taste cells representing all 5 taste sensations.The sweet and salty buds are the least sensitive and the bitter ones are the most sensitive.

Animation Of Taste Bud

-Natasha Iman-

The sensory organ for taste is the tongue.

The surface of the tongue has groups of cells known as taste buds which are sensitive to taste.

Our tongue can detect 4 basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter.

Different areas of the tongue are sensitive to different tastes.


(closer view)
Detection of taste by the tongue:

1. Chemical substance in the food dissolves in the saliva and stimulates the taste bud.

2. The taste bud sends the impulse to the brain.

3. The brain interprets the taste.

-Kathryn Gan-

Taste or gustation is one of the two main "chemical senses. It is well-known that there are at least four types of taste "bud"(receptor) on the tongue.

The inability to taste is called ageusia. The four well-known receptors detect sweet, sour, and bitter, although receptors for sweet and bitter have not been conclusively identified.

A fifth receptor, for a sensation called umami which detects amino acid glutamate, a flavor commonly found in meat and in artificial flavourings such as monosodium glutamate. Note that taste is not the same flavor; flavor includes the smell of food as well as its taste. The middle part of the tongue is believed to tasteless.
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-Yau Ga Luoh-