The sixth taste following 'sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami' may be the 'ammonium chloride taste' felt in salmiakki

Taste, one of the five senses, is caused by the interaction of ingested chemical substances with

taste receptors on the tongue and palate , and is based on five tastes: sweet , salty , bitter , sour , and umami . Masu. A research team from the University of Southern California and the University of Colorado has discovered evidence that the `` ammonium chloride taste '' contained in the famous Scandinavian snack Salmiakki is the sixth taste.

The proton channel OTOP1 is a sensor for the taste of ammonium chloride | Nature Communications

A sixth basic taste may join sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami on the tongue

New taste: Sweet, salty, bitter, sour, umami and … ammonium chloride?

Scientists Think They've Identified an Unknown Taste in Human Cells : ScienceAlert

Foods that have a sour taste, which is one of the taste sensations, have a low hydrogen ion index (pH) , that is, they are substances with a high concentration of hydrogen ions, and when they come into contact with sour taste receptors, hydrogen ions pass through the cell membrane and an electrical signal is generated. Masu. In a 2019 study , a research team led by neuroscientist Emily Liman from the University of California discovered that a protein called Otop1 gives sour taste receptor cells the ability to detect sour taste.

In a new study, Liman et al. conducted an experiment to examine whether Otop1 reacts with ammonium chloride. Ammonium chloride is not only used in medicines and fertilizers, but is also added to snacks in some Asian countries, and is used in salmiakki, which is traditionally eaten in Northern Europe. Salmiakki's unique flavor, which has been described as ``rubber sprinkled with salt and sugar,'' is due to ammonium chloride, and scientists have long known that the tongue reacts strongly to ammonium chloride. It was unclear which receptor detects ammonium chloride.

The research team introduced the Otop1 gene into cultured human cells and exposed some of them to acid or ammonium chloride. The results showed that ammonium chloride activated Otop1 receptors as effectively as acid.

Furthermore, in experiments using mice, it was confirmed that mice without the Otop1 gene did not mind eating foods containing ammonium chloride, but mice with the Otop1 gene avoided foods containing ammonium chloride. . In other words, Otop1 functions not only as a receptor for sour taste but also as a receptor for ammonium chloride, suggesting that ammonium chloride may be a sixth taste.

'If you live in a Scandinavian country, you may be familiar with the taste of ammonium chloride and may like it,' Liman said.

The research team speculates that the ability to detect ammonium chloride may have developed to avoid harmful substances. 'Ammonia is somewhat toxic, so it makes sense that we developed a taste mechanism to detect ammonium chloride,' commented Liman.

Although the results of this study suggest the existence of a sixth taste, further research is needed to determine whether 'ammonium chloride taste' should actually be added to the new taste list. Web media New Atlas says, 'Calling a food 'ammonium chloride-flavored' is not an attractive way to describe the taste, but perhaps foodies will come up with a better name. One day... 'Ammonium chloride flavor may one day be added to the five basic flavors.'

in Science,   Junk Food, Posted by log1h_ik