How Does Smell Affect Taste? 

Have you ever found any difference in the flavor of food due to your clogged nose? We often ignore the fact that smell can also affect the taste of the food. How does smell affect taste? When you get a cold, you lose the sense of smell due to the impaired connection between the nasal cavity and the brain. This also results in loss of taste, doesn’t it? To explain how smell affects taste, you can conduct an easy science experiment for kids. These experiments will help them understand the concept in a much better way. 

Contents 

Though taste and smell are different senses, they are connected to one another. When the taste and smell of the food are impaired, the flavor of the food gets affected. It happens when you are able to taste and not smell the odor. The interaction between the sense of taste and smell enhances the food you eat. It is said that smell is responsible for 80 percent of the food we taste. How does smell affect taste? To teach the relationship between taste and smell to children, you can give DIY science project ideas so that they can come up with interesting experiments to learn the concept easily. To know more about the relation between taste and smell, let us find out what flavor is? 

What is Flavor?

Flavor is the combination of taste, smell, temperature, spiciness and texture. If you lose a sense of smell, you will be unable to experience a sense of flavor in food. Though they are not related to each other, they contribute to the identification of different flavors. Kids enjoy their food when they are able to identify the flavors in it. Needless to say, the tongue has around 10,000 taste buds but detects only five tastes such as salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami. You can detect the flavor when the sensory cells stimulate and send signals to the brain. The reason behind the flavor is that when you chew food, the air is forced through the nasal cavity. The smell of the food is basically detected by the hair-like cilia found at the tip of the sensory cells in the nose. And these signals are sent to the brain, which detects the flavor of the food. 

Fun Facts about Flavors

Some of the interesting facts about flavors are mentioned below:

  • You cannot taste if you cannot smell.
  • People traveling on airplanes prefer savory food. 
  • Some of your preferences for taste is genetics. 
  • The insular cortex of the brain is responsible for identifying taste. 
  • The number of taste buds varies from person to person. 
  • Taste buds constantly regenerate. 
  • Smell and taste are responsible for how we perceive the taste of the food. 
  • The temperature and texture of the food also contribute to flavor preference. 
  • The sense of flavors begins from birth. 
  • Taste buds protect you from eating harmful food. It ensures you spit out the food immediately once you feel something is wrong with the taste. 
  • Eating different flavors enables you to eat a variety of food. 
  • The smell of the food can affect the amount of food we eat. 
  • The brain and nose can detect the flavor of the food. 
  • The taste buds die when you eat something hot or burn your tongue. 
  • Loss of smell might lead to health problems. 
  • Every individual has a unique odor identity. 

Easy Science Project: How Does Smell Affect Taste?

Are your children ready to identify different flavors in order to see how smell affects taste? We’ve got you some of the simple experiments that enable children to figure out the relationship between taste and smell. Can you taste the food or understand the flavor if your nose is clogged? To find out the importance of taste and smell in identifying the flavor of the food, conduct science experiments for kids. This is one of the best DIY science project ideas for kids in learning how smell affects the taste of food. 

How Does Smell Affect Taste? 

Aim of the Project

To identify the effect of smell on the taste buds using the food items available at home. Record the observations for the experiment conducted. 

Materials Required

  • Food items such as kiwi, pasta, yogurt, bitter gourd juice and strawberry
  • Nose plug
  • A paper and a pen
  • A cup of water
  • Chopping board
  • Plates and cups
  • A piece of cloth
  • A table

Procedure

  • Cut kiwi and strawberries with the help of a chopping board. 
  • Keep food items such as kiwi, yogurt, pasta, bitter gourd juice and strawberries on different plates and cups.  
  • Arrange all the food items on the table. 
  • Make children stand in front of the table. 
  • Blindfold the children with a piece of cloth.
  • Ask children to identify the flavor of the food blindfolded. 
  • Record their answer on a sheet of paper. 
  • Ask the children to drink water after tasting each food item so that their palate becomes clear before tasting the other food. 
  • Then, ask the children to put nose plugs on so that they do not get the smell while tasting the food. Now, ask them to identify the flavor of the food. 
  • Record their answers on a sheet of paper. 

Result 

It was observed that the children find it difficult to identify the flavor of the food items with the nose plugs on compared to the ones with nose plugs off. The reason behind this is that the smell and taste of the food contribute to the flavor. If the nose is clogged, the connection between the nasal cavity and the brain is impaired. 

Benefits of Learning about Flavors

Some of the benefits of learning about flavors are mentioned below:

  • Helps in increasing the taste profile of your food. 
  • Helps in understanding the concept behind how smell affects the taste.
  • Enables children to become familiar with different kinds of flavors. 
  • Encourages children to perform experiments related to flavors in an interesting way.
  • Helps in understanding the importance of flavors that influence the amount of food intake. 
  • Increases knowledge on flavors that add taste to the food we eat. 

To know more information, explore science games for kids, STEM activities for kids in the kids learning section at Osmo.

Frequently Asked Questions on How Does Smell Affect Taste?

How does smell affect taste?

The smell affects the taste when the nose is clogged, and the connection between the nasal cavity and brain is impaired. It becomes difficult to identify the flavor of the food, which constitutes the smell, taste, temperature, texture, spiciness, etc.

What are the fun facts about flavors?

The interesting facts about flavors are that the sense of flavors begins from birth, the smell of the food can affect the amount of food we eat, the taste buds die when you eat something hot or burn your tongue, etc.