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Truly good taste is on the tongue

Overweight through flavour enhancers & Co.

The taste buds on our tongues are like gatekeepers controlling the entry of food into our bodies. They identify whether what we eat is digestible, analyse essential nutrients and pass this information on to the digestive system.

Thus, our metabolism already adjusts to utilize the nutrients associated with taste.

In order not to irritate these vital processes, it is important to provide the body with food that is true, i.e. that fulfils what its taste promises with its nutritional value.

The bite into a buttered farmhouse bread covered with mature Emmentaler and grapes creates such a taste experience: so that the carbohydrates in the bread are discovered by the taste papillae for sweets, a digestive enzyme of the saliva helps to break down the starch into sugar. However, the bread has to be chewed well because the enzyme needs time for its “work”.

Special fat sensors report the fat from the butter. Semi-fat products have an irritating effect here, because the metabolism adjusts to fat, but in reality only has to process a part of what causes it to demand the rest.

The taste sensation “umami” handles the protein. It “jumps on” the small amounts of glutamate, the protein building block present in cheese, which contributes to a rounding off of the taste and more fullness of flavour. However, this can only be effective in this natural combination.

The taste buds for salty foods are very flexible. You discover the salt and decide whether the bite is right, too lax or too salted, depending on your body’s salt requirements. It perceives the fruit acidity of the grapes as pleasant and rounds off the taste. To stimulate the bitter taste, the cheese bread could also be garnished with a leaf of radicchio. Its bitter substances promote digestion.

However, many people are sensitive to bitter substances. For our ancestors this perception of taste was even decisive for not eating something because bitter plants were often also poisonous. This is how food selection has worked since time immemorial.

But if - unlike cheese and bread - taste and nutritional value are no longer in harmony, this creates confusion that it can disturb hunger and satiation and the pounds can rise. Such taste manipulations are becoming more common with many finished products. They range from the lavish use of flavour enhancers to add bitter blockers. The general aim is to change the original taste so that everyone can enjoy the products.

This is not only tasteless in the truest sense of the word, but also dangerous. Should we no longer be able to decide on our tongues whether we like a food or if it is good for us, they would lose the vital incoming inspection of the taste buds.

Those who want to protect themselves from it can even enjoy it - with good food whose nutritional values keep what their taste promises.

Author: Brigitte Neumann

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