. Our sense of taste has a simple goal, explains Lindemann: ‘Food is already in the mouth. We just have to decide whether to swallow or spit it out. It's an extremely important decision, but it can be made based on a few taste qualities’.
Taste sour and salty
SALTY AND SOUR
What is taste?
Taste is one of the five basic senses.
Taste is the sense by which the chemical qualities of
food in the mouth are distinguished by the brain,
based on information provided by the taste buds.
Taste is largely a psychophysical term.
Tongue is covered by
small bumps called
papillae to which
hundreds of taste buds
Taste receptors are
present on taste buds to
sense the test and
transfer signal to the
All taste sensations come
from all parts of the
different parts are more
sensitive to different
Bitter-At the back
Sweet-At the tip
Sour-On the sides
Saltiness is a taste produced primarily by the presence
of sodium ions.
Other ions of the alkali metals group also taste salty,
but the further from sodium the less salty the
The saltiness of substances is rated relative to sodium
chloride (NaCl), which has an index of 1. Potassium, as
potassium chloride - KCl, is the principal ingredient
in salt substitutes, and has a saltiness index of 0.6.
Cations cause the basic salty taste, and anions modify
the basic salt taste.
Sodium and lithium cations produce only salty taste
while potassium and other alkaline earth cations
produce a combination of both salty and bitter tastes.
The chloride anion is least inhibitory to the salty taste.
Chloride anion doesn’t contribute any taste.
Some anions like citrate suppress salty taste and also
contribute anionic tastes to the food products.
Sourness is the taste that detects acidity.
The sourness of substances is rated relative to
dilute hydrochloric acid, which has a sourness index of
1. By comparison, tartaric acid has a sourness index of
0.7, citric acid an index of 0.46, and carbonic acid an
index of 0.06 .
As sour taste substances are acidic in nature, they
contain at least one proton that is dissociable in
The acid strength in a solution does not appear to be
the major determinant of the sour sensation
Molecular weight, polarity and size are important
parameters for the sourness of a substance
Sour and Salty tastants modulate taste function by
direct entry of H+ and Na+ ions through specialized
membrane ion channels.
Epithelial sodium channels (ENaCs), which are ion
channels, have been proposed to be the potential Na
sensing protein receptors.
Sour sensing is mediated by PKD2L1, PKD2L3, and
HCN1 receptor proteins.
The precise mechanism for detecting acids and salts is
yet to be elucidated.
SALTY FOOD PRODUCTS
Salt is present in almost all the food products in
Salt is essentially used in them mostly to impart a
characteristic flavor or as a preservative.
Most common flavoring agent used is Common Salt
i.e. Sodium Chloride(NaCl)
SALTY FOOD PRODUCTS
Roasted and Salted Nuts
• Salted to impart flavor.
• Sodium Content of about 800mg to 1500mg per 100g
• Includes various snacks such as Chips, Fries, Farsan etc
• Sodium Content of about 1000mg to 1500mg per 100g
• Salt plays dual role of preservative and flavorant
• Very high sodium content of about 1800mg to 2500mg
Composition- Common salt is almost entirely
composed of NaCl. Impurities include moisture (upto
3%) and other salts like MgCl, CaCl2 etc. Some trace
elements are also present.
Occurrence- Salt is abundant in sea water(2-3%). Also
obtained from salt beds and landlocked seas (8-15%).
Production-In India salt is mainly obtained from sea
water through the salt pans. It is also mined from salt
mines near Himalayan region.
Iodized salt is produced as a preventive measure
against goiter, a disease of the thyroid gland.
It contains 5 mg/kg of sodium-, potassium- or calcium
Some human diseases make it necessary to avoid
excessive intake of sodium ions
Salt Substitutes- Potassium Chloride, Potassium
Lactate, Seaweed, Glutamic acid etc
SOUR FOOD PRODUCTS
All the sour food products contain at least one
Citrus fruits are the one’s which contain citric acid.
Examples of citrus fruits are lemon, oranges,
SOUR FOOD PRODUCTS
Fermented Milk Products
Fermented milk products are dairy foods that have be
fermented with lactic acid bacteria (LAB) such as
Lactobacillus, Lactococcus and Leuconostoc
These include cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, lassi,
Vinegar is the most important single flavoring used to
provide or enhance the sour, acidic taste of food
Vinegar is produced microbiologically from ethanol or
by dilution of acetic acid.
CH3CH2OH + O2 −→ CH3COOH + H2O + 494 kJ
Microbial Production- Acetobacter species is
cultivated in aqueous ethanol solution. It
dehydrogenates ethanol to acetic acid.
Reaction occurs in aerobic conditions.
Acetic acid is usually synthesized by catalytic
oxidation of acetaldehyde:
CH3CHO +1/2 O2 −c−a→t. CH3COOH
There is 5–15.5 g acetic acid in 100 g of vinegar.
Composition depends upon origin.
Salty taste improves the flavor of food, improves
digestion, lubricates tissues, liquefies mucous,
maintains mineral balance, aids in the elimination of
Sour taste stimulates digestion, helps circulation and
elimination, energizes the body, strengthens the heart,
relieves thirst, maintains acidity, sharpens the senses,
and helps extract minerals such as iron from food
Adverse Effects on Health
High salt intake is associated with various problems such as
High Blood Pressure and other cardiovascular diseases.
Too much or too little salt in the diet can lead to drizziness
or electrolyte disturbance, which can cause neurological
Overconsumption of acidic foods leads to listlessness,
depression, headaches, acne, dry skin, mood swings, poor
digestion, brittle nails and hair, and sensitive gums.
Bacteria and viruses thrive in an acidic environment,
increase in free radicals will make you susceptible to
bacteria and viruses.