Science Questions

Do tastes change as we age?

Sat, 6th Oct 2012

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Heather Andrews asked:

Is it true that our taste buds change as we age because some people like things more when they're older than when they were younger?


Barry -   So, our taste buds donít really change, although the smell diminishes as Old manwe get older.  It actually can be improved right up until 50, 60, and then it drops right off.  But think of one reason why children donít like bitter taste, green vegetables, and itís very difficult to get them to eat it.  But eventually, when they become of a certain age, they integrate the taste, touch, and smell, so they get a combined flavour rather than a single blast of bitterness, and thatís what allows them, I think, to eat vegetables eventually.

Chris -   Oh, thatís fascinating.  So, the kids when they're experiencing taste are literally experiencing it one dimensionally Ė the taste or the smell.

Barry -   Their getting a taste and the smell, whereas weíre actually getting something that combines the two.

Chris -   The whole experience.  



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