121lab04 - Lab 4- Sensory Evaluation of Food Learning...

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Lab 4- Sensory Evaluation of Food Learning Objectives Be able to name the five basic qualities of taste sensation and list the chemical substances that elicit them. Be able to explain the perceptions and adaptation of tastes. Be able to name factors that influence the appreciation of food. Examine the cultural and genetic influences of food preferences. After reading these guidelines, students should be able to answer the following questions: What is flavor versus taste? What are the 5 tastes perceived by the brain? What is sensory evaluation used for? What are the typical tests used in sensory evaluation? Background Information We know that food and the nutrients provided by food are essential for life. However, our choice of foods is not determined by just nutritive value. Instead, our food choices or preferences are quite complex and are influenced by psychological variables, cultural traditions or foodways (family, friends, and ethnic traditions) and the sensory characteristics of food (taste, color, texture and odor). Food quality is thought to include factors such as the appearance, flavor, texture and nutritive content. Food scientists use food quality as a reference for the sensory qualities of food, which can be evaluated by the human sensory organs. The taste and odor of foods, which are components of the flavor, have significant effects on the perception of hunger, food preferences and intake. We rely on our senses of taste and smell to make decisions about what to eat. In addition, we depend on mouthfeel sensations to detect temperature (hot or cold), pain (spicy foods), astringency (unripe fruit, such as a banana) and metallic characteristics. Acceptance and detection of some tastes are considered to be largely culturally and genetically determined. Such is the case with the chemical phenylthiocarbamide (PTC), a well-known taste variation in humans that is a genetic trait. A large percentage of the population perceives the chemical to be relatively tasteless, whereas some individuals perceive it as bitter. In addition to enhancing the enjoyment of food, the sensory capabilities of taste and odor have survival value. For example, when an individual tastes something bitter, a rejection is often triggered causing gagging to protect against the ingestion of a toxin. The brain perceives sensations of taste and odor. Taste is detected by thousands of taste buds on the surface of the tongue. In general, five distinct tastes can be perceived: sweet, salt, sour, bitter and umami. The ability to detect or seek out salty foods (sodium chloride = NaCl) is thought to be protective since sodium is an
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essential electrolyte. The sweet taste is typically associated with carbohydrate rich foods, especially sugars and fruits containing sucrose and fructose, respectively. Sour tastes detect acids in foods such as citrus fruits. Umami (pronounced “ooh-mommy”) is a taste response to glutamic acid salts, most commonly found as monosodium glutamate
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This note was uploaded on 01/16/2012 for the course NUTR 121 taught by Professor Heathergraham during the Fall '11 term at Truckee Meadows Community College.

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121lab04 - Lab 4- Sensory Evaluation of Food Learning...

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