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Humans have a SIXTH sense of taste -- FAT

 
Mmmm, Fat!
User ID: 910033
United States
03/13/2010 03:55 PM
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Humans have a SIXTH sense of taste -- FAT
Remember the 5th sense of taste? -- "umami" or the taste of savory proteins? Well now researchers say we have a sixth possible sense of taste -- for fat.

Not all people can taste fat. Those who do have lower weight and get turned off and stop eating sooner when there's a lot of fat in a meal.

Summary of the 6 sense of taste: sweet, salt, sour, bitter, umami, fat

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Humans found to have sixth taste: fat
NICKY PHILLIPS
March 8, 2010
[link to www.theage.com.au]

Tongue test ... people who can taste fat tend to eat less of it.

Australian scientists have shown that humans can detect a sixth taste: fat. And it appears that those people who are highly sensitive to the taste of fat tend to eat less of it, and have significantly lower body mass indexes.

Using a series of taste-testing experiments, researchers from Deakin University have found that humans can identify the taste of fat by its chemical composition, rather than by its texture.

The findings could lead to new ways of treating obesity.

The lead researcher, Russell Keast, said: ''Fat has a very nice mouth feel to it [but it] appears that fat is activating something in the oral cavity independent of texture.''

Dr Keast and his team had a group of people sample various types of fatty acids found in common foods, mixed in with non-fat milk to disguise the texture.

Of the 33 people tested, all could detect the taste of fat to a varying degree, he said.

Fat flavour can now be added to the other known tastes: sweet, salt, sour, bitter, and umami - a taste for protein-rich foods.

Just like the other tastes, Dr Keast said, the degree of sensitivity to fat differed between individuals. ''I may be very sensitive to sweet tastes, while somebody else may be insensitive, this is common throughout the tastes, and it's exactly what we're finding with fat.''

After the research group had established that humans could taste fat, they wanted to know if the ability to taste fat had any influence on what people ate.

Study participants were divided into two groups, those who were hyper or very sensitive to the fat taste, and those who were not. ''People who are very sensitive to fat can taste very low concentrations of it.''

Dr Keast then compared the daily diets of both groups and found those people who were hypersensitive to fat ate less of it in their daily diet. They also had lower body mass indexes.

''It appears [hypersensitive] people have a mechanism that is telling them to stop eating it, he said.

The reverse was happening in people who were not sensitive to the taste, said Dr Keast.

''They are over-consuming and this is creating an energy imbalance, which is leading to higher BMI or development of overweight or obesity.''

Dr Keast is now looking into why some people are sensitive and others are not.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 910033
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03/13/2010 03:57 PM
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Re: Humans have a SIXTH sense of taste -- FAT
So if you're thinking of popping the question, pop some popcorn first and butter it up. Follow it up with some French Fries and then ice cream.

If he or she ain't gagging, you might want to plan on a king sized bedroom.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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03/13/2010 04:18 PM
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Re: Humans have a SIXTH sense of taste -- FAT
bump
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 911837
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03/13/2010 04:23 PM
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Re: Humans have a SIXTH sense of taste -- FAT
thus.. german chockie cake with ice cream is planned for this evening.

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