Have you ever smelt a lip balm, Vaseline or hair product that, when you smelt it , it was as if you could almost taste it? Have you ever wondered why you can never really taste food when you have a cold? These are questions that have puzzled me in the past, but not anymore as…
There’s a reason why this happens!
When you eat food, take for example chicken and chips, you put them into your mouth and simply chomp and chew. There are little dots on your tongue called papillae, which you can find by looking at your tongue in the mirror. Papillae are made up of many taste buds which send information to your brain about how the food you eat tastes (e.g. salty, savoury, sweet, etc.)
As this is happening, smell molecules (also known as odour molecules) travel up from inside your mouth to the nose to the nasal cavity or into straight from up your nose. At the top of the nasal cavity are receptors (proteins) which the odour molecules bind, or in other words stick, to. A message is then sent to your brain which provides more information to the brain what exactly you’re eating, which is probably the fish you’ve moved on to after you’d just finished your chips
When your nose is blocked by snot when you have a cold, most of the odour molecules released from the food are prevented from reaching the olfactory receptors in the nose , only a few lucky ones make it up there, so that when you taste food .Well, you can barely, if not, taste it.