Chemistry of Taste and Smell

Chemistry of Taste and Smell

Length: 559 words (1.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

The human body does amazing things on a daily basis. All the senses that the body uses consists of nerves, neurotransmitters and the brain decodes the messages that was received. Smell is the passing of odorants through the nose, received by the olfactory cells, and are sent directly to the brain. Taste is the weakest of the five senses but it is the sensory function of the central nervous system( The Science of Taste and Smell). We taste and smell things every day but little do most people know that these two senses work together to make life even more satisfactory!
Scientists believe that smell was prominent during the caveman era. It was used to sense when to mate, for hunting, and other things that were essentials to their everyday living. When babies are first born they can recognize their mother by their smell and even mothers can recognize their child by the smell of the clothes they wear. Now we use smell for pleasurable things like perfumes, foods, and deodorizers. Smell is connected directly to the brain making it one of the strongest senses of the body. At one point scientists thought that smell only consisted of 7 different specific fragrances. In reality smells are even more complicated than they seem. Each odor is made up of different combinations of more than one type of molecule( The Senses). For example, when you smell a banana you are inhaling one of the many esters. Ester is a molecule that has a carbon double bonded to an oxygen and bonded to another oxygen that is bonded with another carbon. Here is a couple of examples of ester products in this image shown. The specific ester in the banana is called isoamyl acetate. The chemical formula is CH3COOCH2CH2CH(CH3)2. Another example of an odorant is Vanilla. Vanilla’s modern name is very similar to the scientific name which is Vanillin(Chemistry of Smell).
When the odorants ( smell molecules) enters the nose it dissolves in mucus and sinks down to the olfactory epithelium which is made of millions of tiny receptor neurons. Cilia, a protruding knob that is in the middle of the neurons,receives the odorant and sends it directly to the part of the brain called the olfactory bulb. In fact cilia is the only part of the brain that is visible outside of the skull(The Science of Taste and Smell).

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Chemistry of Taste and Smell." 13 Dec 2018

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Garlic: A Taste for Health Essay

- Garlic: A Taste for Health Culinary garlic is one of the most medically studied herbs today. it has been cultivated since the Neolithic period around 10,000 BC. This bulb has flavored the food of hunters and nomads after the discovery of its intensively robust flavor. The summarians (2600 BC-2100 BC) were actively practicing the healing powers of garlic, and some believe the summarians to have introduced garlic to China, from where it later spread to Japan and Korea. However, some taxonomists believe garlic to be endemic to China....   [tags: Botany]

Free Essays
1615 words (4.6 pages)

When the Senses Fail You Essay

- ... There are about twenty-five hundred to five thousand, each of these special taste buds contain fifty to one hundred and fifty neuroepathicial cells. These cells respond with fibers in the nervous system. Neurons with taste are the only stem cells that are replenished as they die. When the receptors go back to your brain, it then tells said person what he or she tastes. Even though people think that there are different taste buds for every sense of taste, every taste bud can taste all kinds of favors, not just the tasting region they are in....   [tags: science research, color blindness, loss of smell]

Free Essays
554 words (1.6 pages)

No Smell, No Taste Essay

- When a person has a cold, the food that they eat most likely does not have a taste. Most may think that it is a person’s taste buds that are providing the tongue with flavor, but it is really the nose. Seventy-five percent of what we taste from food comes from one’s sense of smell. From the sweet flavor of strawberries to the spicy taste of salsa, the tongue itself actually tastes only twenty-five percent of it. The average person can distinguish between 4,000 to 10,000 various odor molecules. Although there is not much known about the nasal cavity, one thing is certain: Little can be tasted without a sense of smell....   [tags: Anatomy]

Research Papers
514 words (1.5 pages)

The True Relationship Between Taste and Smell Essays

- Introduction It has been alleged that the perception of flavor and aroma are “derived from the senses of chemical irritation, taste and smell” (Rawson, 2003). Collectively, these senses constitute what has been termed chemosensation, even though these sensory systems are supposedly very different in their physiology and anatomy. Nevertheless, they do have the ability to “regenerate, and their noted susceptibility to aging and age associated diseases” (Rawson, 2003). In the article Is age related olfactory loss uniform across odorants....   [tags: Anatomy/Physiology]

Research Papers
1204 words (3.4 pages)

Investigation of Sensory Research of Taste, Sight, Hearing, Smell, and Touch

- ... The latest Pangborn Symposium, in 2013, will be discussed later in this study. In recent years, sensory science has transformed into a broader spectrum of research and can most certainly be defined as a multidisciplinary field (Martens, 1999). It encompasses a wide range of topics from sensometrics and psychophysics to cognitive studies. The main drive for this change in sensory research is the consumer. This is evident by the research carried out in the 1970’s which focused primarily on initial tasting and responses to the food (Martens, 1999)....   [tags: spectrum, education, products]

Research Papers
1172 words (3.3 pages)

Taking a Look Inside Hallucinogens Essay examples

- ... The serotonin system is involved in perceptual, behavioral, and regulatory systems. This explains the disruption in mood, sexual behavior, and sensory perception caused by particular narcotics. Even though all hallucinogenics have similar effects, they can target much different senses. For example, while LSD affects sensory preceptors related to sound, vision, and smell; MDMA affects senses like touch and taste. Even though these are the most common affects of hallucinogenics, drugs affect everyone differently....   [tags: pharmacological agents, history of chemistry]

Research Papers
954 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Imagery, Language, and Sound in What's That Smell in the Kitchen?

- Imagery, Language, and Sound in What's That Smell in the Kitchen. Marge Piercy is an American novelist, essayist, and poet best known for writing with a trademark feminist slant. In "What's That Smell in the Kitchen?" Marge Piercy explores the way women are sometimes held in low esteem by men through the eyes of a tired housewife who has had it with her monotonous day- to-day duties. In this poem, it is not stated that the speaker is a homemaker, but the reader is told about one woman in particular who is meant to express the feelings of women as a whole....   [tags: What's That Smell]

Research Papers
1022 words (2.9 pages)

Essay Nuclear Chemistry

- Types of Radiation: • List the three types of Radiation and describe conditions under which each case occurs. Alpha, Beta, Gamma. Alpha radiation/emission - Alpha particles are the nuclei of a Helium atom 42He. Consisting of two protons and two neutrons, positively charged. The nuclei are ejected from heavy, unstable nuclei so as to remove excess protons and neutrons. However, the formed nuclei may still be radioactive in which even further decay will occur. Alpha emissions occur in nuclei with atomic numbers greater than 83....   [tags: Chemistry]

Research Papers
1999 words (5.7 pages)

Organic Chemistry Essay

- Chemistry has been called the science of what things are. Its intent is the exploration of the nature of the materials that fabricate our physical environment, why they hold the different properties that depict them, how their atomic structure may be fathomed, and how they may be manipulated and changed. Although organic reactions have been conducted by man since the discovery of fire, the science of Organic chemistry did not develop until the turn of the eighteenth century, mainly in France at first, then in Germany, later on in England....   [tags: Chemistry]

Research Papers
1119 words (3.2 pages)

The Smell Essay

- The Smell It was another one of those lonely Monday nights, Christina was home alone, baby-sitting her brother. Her parents left to a dinner, movies, and opera, weren't they just a little to lucky. So she had to stay home, with her little brother. Yup, that was it, being home alone by herself was scary enough, but with her brother, it was a nightmare. It was 10:30PM, she was watching Melrose Place and her brother was upstairs, sleeping like an angel. "Well at least I have peace now." she thought, boy would she be wrong....   [tags: English Literature Essays]

Free Essays
866 words (2.5 pages)

The Olfactory Bulb is located next to the Hippocampus: the function of the hippocampus is to store memories. Since these two parts of the brain are closely linked smell is often associated with memories(Why Can Smells Unlock Forgotten Memories?). For example when I used to go down to the river with my family my mom would always have Coppertone sunscreen on to prevent sunburn. Now when I smell sunscreen , I think back to that time and think of my mother.
Even though the mouth is close to the brain too it is the weakest of the senses. The human tongue has approximately ten thousand taste buds each of which are consisted of fifty to a hundred and fifty taste receptors. Receptors are what absorbs the flavor, sends it to the taste nerves, and sent to the brain. There are two types of nerves that link the tongue to the brain: the glossopharyngeal nerve and the facial nerve. The glossopharyngeal nerve is makes up the back half of the tongue and the facial nerve makes up the front half of the tongue. There is another cranial nerve that is located in the back of the mouth called the vagus nerve. All of these nerves are the reason we are able to taste and enjoy our food.
When a person gets a cold or has a sinus problem of some sort they just can’t enjoy their food like they would on a day when they are healthier. Why so? This is because without smell the mouth can only taste four flavors: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. Smell and taste combine to make enhancing flavor. When a person chews their food they are also taking in the smell in two different ways.

Sources for AP Chemistry Final
Taste and Smell
How do smell and taste interact?

What is taste?
Taste is a sensory function of the central nervous system, and is considered the weakest sense in the human body.
This is where you stopped 2/27/2014 11:23am
Taste is detected by taste receptors cells, clustered in the taste buds. Taste buds are composed 50 to 150 taste receptor cells bundled together. The taste receptor cells are arranged so that the tip forms small taste pores, and through the pores extend microvillus, which bear taste receptors. In the taste cells are sensory nerves called taste nerves. When taste cells are stimulated, they transmit to the taste nerve fibers which transmit to the brain. There are 10,000 taste buds in the human mouth. Receptor cells for taste in humans are found on the surface of the tongue along the soft palate in the epithelium. There are two cranial nerves that help humans taste: the facial nerve, which stimulates the front of our tongue, and the glossopharyngeal nerve, which stimulates the back of the tongue. The vagus nerve carries information from the back of the tongue. The nerves send information from the tongue to the brain, identifying which taste is in the mouth.
What is smell?
. This knob is the only part of the brain visible outside the skull. Molecules of odorants pass through the nasal passage and dissolve in mucus, and are detected by olfactory sensors. This occurs when odorants bind to odor proteins. The mucus in the epithelium contains salts, enzymes, and antibodies, which are important because they provide a direct route for infection to pass to the brain.
the chemistry of the brain smell and taste

how do smell and taste work together?

When you have a cold and cant taste?
Arkansas Travelers Database

Smell and Taste
Definition of Axon
1. that process of a neuron by which impulses travel away from the cell body; at the terminal arborization of the axon, the impulses are transmitted to other nerve cells or to effector organs. Larger axons are covered by a myelin´onal
Definition of Synapse
synapse /syn·apse/ (sin´aps) the site of functional apposition between neurons, where an impulse is transmitted from one to another, usually by a chemical neurotransmitter released by the axon terminal of the presynaptic neuron. The neurotransmitter diffuses across the gap to bind with receptors on the postsynaptic cell membrane and cause electrical changes in that neuron (depolarization/excitation or hyperpolarization/inhibition).

Chemistry of Smell
slide 16 18 20 21 22
Memory and smell
And the olfactory bulb, seat of smell in the brain, is conveniently placed just next to the hippocampus, the primary brain nucleus for these memories.
nerves in tasting
There are two cranial nerves that innervate the tongue and are used for taste: the facial nerve (cranial nerve VII) and the glossopharyngeal nerve (cranial nerve IX). The facial nerve innervates the anterior (front) two-thirds of the tongue and the glossopharyngeal nerve innervates that posterior (back) one-third part of the tongue.

Brownlee, S. (1997). The senses. (cover story). U.S. News & World Report, 122(1), 50.
Chemistry of Smell
Return to