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Regina Bailey

Tongue Taste Map Myth - Sour Taste Receptor Found

By August 24, 2006

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Many of us have seen the famous tongue taste map in our science textbooks. This map indicates that receptors for the different tastes (sour, sweet, bitter, salty, umami-savory) are located on different areas of the tongue.

For many years, taste researchers have been refuting this outdated idea, but have found it difficult to remove this concept from science texts.

A research team has discovered that receptors for each of our five basic tastes are located in distinct cells and these cells are found in all areas of the tongue.

This study, featured in the August 24 issue of the journal Nature, focuses on the discovery of the protein and cells that enable us to detect sour taste.

The research team has also discovered the sweet, bitter, and umami taste receptors.

Image: Tongue with bitter, sweet and umami receptors in green and sour receptors in red. Credit: Nicholas Ryba, NIDCR and Charles Zuker, UCSD.

Read about this study:


February 13, 2007 at 12:10 pm
(1) George Perry says:

Yay! I’m already arguing with my colleagues about this one…


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