In this week's science club, we looked at the sense of taste (I'm talking about the gustatory system rather than the latest high street fashion!). In pairs, the club tried to identify if any of them were supertasters by guessing the flavour of Fruit Skittles with their eyes closed and noses blocked. Only one in four people fall into this category, but amazingly nearly all of the class eventually decided they were supertasters. They obviously needed a few goes to establish this conclusively!
After discussing how our sense of taste works and the role our olfactory
plays in helping us to distinguish different flavours, the club split into groups to conduct a taste test. We identified the four distinct tastes our taste buds can recognise, i.e. saltiness, sweetness, bitterness and sourness.
Next, we combined two of the flavour solutions (bitter and sour) to create a fizzing and bubbling chemical reaction. We discussed that this means molecules have broken apart rearranged and rejoined to make something new. In this case carbon dioxide gas.
Finally, we made some sherbert (icing sugar, citric acid and baking soda) to bring home. We discussed that the same chemical reaction mentioned above is activated by the saliva in our mouths when we eat the sherbert.