Where Does a Food’s Flavor Come From?
Have you ever wondered where a food’s flavor comes from? Most of us think it’s in food, but in reality, much of flavor has to do with our own personal perception of the food and how our brain interprets these signals when we’re eating.
Yes, a significant part of flavor does include how certain molecules in a food either trigger our taste buds or receptors in our nasal cavity, but other aspects of flavor have much more to do with our own personal perception of the food such as our previous experiences with the food, memories, and emotions. So, what we know as “flavor” is actually a complex response to the physical and chemical “inputs” we experience when eating a food. This includes but is not limited to taste, aroma, color, texture, irritants, memories, emotions, and our personal experiences with the food.
This week's Teach Me in 10 features Dr. Abbey Thiel, or "Abbey the Food Scientist", a postdoctoral researcher at Wageningen University with a focus in dairy foods and processing technologies. Dr. Thiel obtained her PhD in Food Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied the microstructure of ice cream and whipped toppings. In her free time, Dr. Thiel runs a YouTube channel named “Abbey the Food Scientist” where she breaks down everything related to Food Science.