"A man's palate can, in time, become accustomed to anything." Napoleon Bonaparte. French general

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For food to have a taste it must be able to dissolve in water.

believed taste bud areas
It was believed taste buds react to specific flavors depending on the part of the tongue.
  • Front- sweet
  • Sides- sour and salty
  • Back- bitter
Not all the taste buds for the flavor stay with the correct sections. Some spread to other sections and mix to help get distinct flavors, This was later proven false.

In truth, most taste buds can taste
  • Sweet,
  • Sour,
  • Bitter,
  • Savory, and
  • Salty.
This is because each taste bud has a small pore that opens to the surface of the tongue, Allowing taste to be distinguished from one another. See :Chemical Process of Taste
Each taste bud is cut into sections, like a pomegranate chamber, each "chamber" has about 25 gustatory receptor cells and numerous supporting cells.

Things taste buds can taste are also things you can smell for the most part. That's because the sense of smell and taste "cross paths", so to speak.

Taste and smell video

Children have about 10,000 taste buds, but with age they drop down to about 5,000. This explains why the older we get, the less flavor things seem to have. It turns out girls in general have more taste buds then boys.

Taste buds can also be found on the roof of the mouth (aka the palate), the throat, and the epiglottis.

Gustatory cell receptors are what detects specific chemicals dissolved in saliva. Once detected, taste signals travel threw the cranial nerves in order to reach the medulla, the signal is then relayed to the thalamus.

The nerves used in the tongue are the: Cranial nerve VII, Cranial nerve IX, vagus nerve X, and trigeminal nerve V.

The trigeminal nerve has to do with sending information related to touch, pressure, temperature and pain though, unlike the others who focus on taste

There are two types of papillae. The conical structured are the filiform papillae and the circular structures are called fungiform papilla.
taste_bud.png<--- Wikimedia
taste receptor video

Taste buds are the weakest of the sensory receptors and can be damaged without people even knowing

Taste buds can be damaged by things like extreme cold, heat, infection, dry mouth, smoking, spicy foods, really sour foods, some medication and other things things that can overpower the taste bud. The good news is that taste buds heal, so unless you had your tongue cut off, chances are you will be fine and don't have to stop eating what you like.

Areas of the tongue video

About 75% of taste has to do with smell, and if the odor molecules can't reach the sensory receptors your sense of taste dulls. Have you ever wondered why you have problems tasting things when you have a cold? When the nose is blocked and you can't smell, that chicken noodle doesn't taste the same thanks to the lack of signals going to the brain.