16 Jan '12, 11pm

Scientists find fat is the sixth human taste

For generations, scientists thought the human tongue could detect only four basic tastes: Sweet, sour, salt and bitter. Then a fifth was discovered, "umami" or savoury. Now, researchers have identified a previously-unrecognised "sixth taste" - fat. A team in the United States has located a chemical receptor in the taste buds on the tongue that recognises fat molecules, and found that its sensitivity varies between individuals. The research team, from the School of Medicine at Washington University, St Louis, showed that people with more of a receptor called CD36 were better at detecting the presence of fat in food. The finding may help to explain why some people consume more fatty foods, as they are less aware of the taste as they eat. The researchers, whose findings were published in the Journal of Lipid Research, hope their discovery can be exploited to combat obesity by...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/World/Worldinbrief/EDC120116-0...

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