What are taste-buds for? a work in progress...
We derive pleasure from taste but this is not what it's for, taste sensations are there so we may detect WHAT we are eating, taste being the bodies second line of defence against poison, the first being sight and smell and of course the knowledge of what to look for...
The five tastes and what they signify to the body:
• Sweet -- energy
• Salty -- sodium & other salts
• Umami (savoury) -- protein
• Bitter -- poisons
• Sour -- rotten food
A further look in to the taste-buds:
• Bitter taste-buds were developed to guard against dietary dangers: plant poisons; plant toxins; rancid fat
& microbial fermentation.
• Sour taste-buds were developed to taste acids and to guard against rotten foods, fermented products &
• Salty taste-buds were developed to detects the presence of cations: Na+ K+ Li+ Rb+ (the sodium
ion and other alkaline metal group). Na+ has strongest salt flavour decreasing flavour as moving away
from sodium in the group.