How did the five flavors develop? Check it out via Swetha Sivakumar
Human taste buds can detect five basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami. But why did they evolve in the first place? Anthropologists have some theories.
Sweet: This taste indicates high calorie food. Most vertebrates can taste sweet. Mother’s milk is naturally sweet, so it likes sweet foods from childhood. But carnivores that don’t need to pursue sweet foods have very few sugar receptors, suggesting a use-it-or-lose-it theory when it comes to taste perception.
Salt: It is an important substance needed to maintain electrolyte levels in most animals. This explains why we all love salt and why some animals lick clay or rocks to get their quota.
Sour: This is essentially an orange flag, indicating the presence of vitamin C, an essential micronutrient. One theory is that sourness helped early humans determine which fermented foods were safe to eat. Acidic foods (such as yogurt made using lactic acid or vinegar made using acetic acid) are safe because the acidic environment destroys the bad bacteria in these foods.
Bitter: Most toxins taste bitter, and these taste buds help us reject potentially dangerous foods. It’s intuitive; Even newborns reject bitter foods.
Umami: Recognized internationally since the 1990s, it is a savory taste that indicates protein richness.