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Author Topic: Why does a mint make my mouth feel cold ?  (Read 24678 times)

Offline neilep

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Why does a mint make my mouth feel cold ?
« on: 17/09/2004 22:18:01 »
Hello Everybody,

I just had a mint...here, smell my breath...it's lovely isn't it ?...but I noticed, as I'm sure we all have, that when I breathe in now through my oral cavity, my mouth and back of my throat appear cold as the air rushes over...same happens when air is breathed in through my happy nostrils but not as much......why does it feel cold ?..is it actually colder ?..what does minty do ?...is it the opposite effect to eating chillis and other Sun temperature orientated products ?

Do you think that's why mints are served after Indian meals ?

Your glacial answers of an inclement nature to this temperature type query is greatly appreciated.

ta

'Men are the same as women...just inside out !'
« Last Edit: 17/09/2004 22:19:21 by neilep »


 

Offline NakedScientist

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Re: Why does a mint make my mouth feel cold ?
« Reply #1 on: 18/09/2004 11:05:46 »
We have discussed this on the radio show.

The reason is that menthol (the minty ingredient) sensitises the nerve fibres that signal 'cold' sensation in the mouth. So when you breathe in, room air 'feels' colder than normal because the nerve fibres respond more strongly at that temperature than they would normally, fooling the brain into thinking your mouth is colder than it really is.

Here's an article about the physiology of why chilli tastes hot and why mints taste cold :

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/articles/article/dalyacolumn5.htm

And here's a link to the original show in which this was discussed as an 'ask the naked scientists' item - scroll down the page for the text version, or listen to the audio :

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/Shows/2002.05.19.htm

TNS
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Why does a mint make my mouth feel cold ?
« Reply #2 on: 18/09/2004 18:44:47 »
Thanks Chris...ooops, silly me for not noticing the articles, sometimes when I'm just sitting here, a question pops in and I ask away....thanks for the links.

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Re: Why does a mint make my mouth feel cold ?
« Reply #2 on: 18/09/2004 18:44:47 »

 

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