Well, it seems we can put one debate to bed, as a pioneering group of scientists have decided that water does taste like something.
For those who thought that water was flavourless, please see me after class. Actually, I had not the foggiest, but a new study has returned from the farthest oasis of our interest and claims that it tastes like something.
As it turns, out it’s most closely defined as sour.
The study found that when mice drank water, it stimulated the “sour” taste sensors on their tongues. According to the team responsible, water should be considered its own independent flavour, different from the five known flavours sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami, The Independent reported.
“The tongue can detect various key nutrient factors, called tastants — such as sodium, sugar, and amino acids — through taste, however, how we sense water in the mouth was unknown,” study author Yuki Oka said in a recent statement. “Many insect species are known to ‘taste’ water, so we imagined that mammals also might have a machinery in the taste system for water detection.”
Per the study, “to prove that sour cells on the tongue indeed were involved in water detection, the team used a technique called optogenetics to stimulate the sour cells on the tongue with light instead of water. The team then replaced the water in these genetically altered mice water bottles with blue light. Despite not actually getting hydrated, the genetically altered mice would still go to the spout and “drink” the water, as it stimulated the sour taste buds.”
For those interested in the finer notes of taste, our buds are actually considered to be their own organ, with the average person possessing around 10,000 of the things, which is a number I find hard to believe, as my children easily possess three times that number, as they’re able to detect when I burn their toast to the smallest degree.
With the water discussion now put to bed, can the learned minds of science discover why the durian is so popular, despite it hating every tongue is has ever met?