FLAVOUR IN FOOD
Food flavor is intimately related to food preparation practices. We like flavor of foods made in our home in our community and region, because these are familiar to us. Thus food flavor acceptance is intimately related to our dietary pattern. If our exposure to food flavours has been limited, it is not easy for us to adapt to new flavours and we may not enjoy a variety of flavours.
Odour : The odour or smell of food influences our food acceptance. The aroma of ripe mango attracts us, while the smell of overripe fruit repels us. The substances, which are responsible for odour of food, are volatile, which means these evaporate and forms vapors easily. The odours are carried by the air to our nose, and are transmitted by special nerves (olfactory nerves) to our brain. You can get the odour before you eat the food. The function of the sensory organs is impaired with age, which results in decreased enjoyment of food by the aged persons.
Touch : The sense of touch contributes to our perception of food. It identifies the textural qualities of the food, such as softness and hardness. Similarly, we perceive the crisp, the crunchy or sticky texture by touching the food. When the touch conforms to the textural profile of the food in our memory, it enhances the anticipation and enjoyment of food. If it does not create a favourable image, we hesitate taste the food.
Taste : Taste sensations are the sum-total of the sensations created by food when it is put in the mouth. The sensation of taste is perceived when the taste receptors (taste buds) are stimulated. The food must be dissolved in liquid to enable us to perceive its taste.