According to a team of scientists, they have discovered a new flavor, which is the taste of fat. They believe that further studies could help them find new treatments for fighting cardiovascular disease and obesity.
The researchers say that the taste of fat, which they call oleogustus, is the sixth flavor and joins the other five that are sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami. According to the experts, the taste of fat is unique and unpleasant.
The researchers who discovered the taste of fat said it could help them find new methods of treating obesity and heart disease, and also create new and healthier types of fat that could replace the unhealthy ones.
Richard Mattes, professor at the Purdue University, and one of the researchers who discovered the taste of fat, explained the recent findings saying that no one really knew that fat actually has a flavor of its own and it differs from all of the other known 5 tastes.
In order to determine whether fat has a taste of its own, the scientists analyzed the taste sensations of the non-esterified fatty acids, also known as the free fatty acids, which are the basic building blocks that make fat. According to the tests, researchers found that men and women were able to identify the taste of fat, which was different from any other samples they had to taste.
The experts believe that it’s very important to identify the taste of fat because it could lead to important ways of fighting several health conditions. They said that at a high concentration, the signal that fat generates can be helpful in dissuading people from eating foods that have gone rancid. The scientists added that at a lower level, the taste of fat could be used to enhance the flavor of certain foods.
Professor Robin Dando, from Cornell University’s department of Food and Science, said that an increasing number of studies have been trying to figure out whether fat has a taste of its own that is different than all the other five ones. Professor Dando believes that the recent discovery can help scientists better understand the way the receptors in our bodies perceive fat. Dando explained that previous research suggested that we are able to identify fat only by its texture and not because it actually has its own specific taste.
The researchers who discovered the taste of fat wrote about their findings in a paper that was published in the journal Chemical Senses.
Image Source: theberry