Research shows carbs might be the "6th taste"

- Pasta, waffles, and pastries. Can you sense the carbs? No, literally: researchers think they could be “the 6th taste." We all know sweet, savory, bitter, sour, and as of 2007, "umami." Now a new study published in the journal Chemical Senses reveals that our tongues are able to taste "starchiness."

The researchers at Oregon State University were surprised that people in the study were able to detect starch (a substance previously thought to be tasteless) with the “sweet” receptors on their tongues blocked.

When given liquid solutions of carbohydrates, they described the taste as “cereal-like” or “rice-like.”

The researchers say it does make sense because humans use starch as a major source of energy. And it definitely isn’t surprising to anyone who’s ever had a craving that can only be satisfied by a deep dish pizza or the bread basket.

Still, some experts aren’t ready to add carbs to the list yet -- and it has competition. Other studies have examined how humans are able to distinguish “flavors” like fat, and even water. Research continues because scientists want to know how the way we detect flavors in our food affects our health. And we’ll keep trying to “taste carbs” -- in the name of science, of course.

Up Next:


Up Next

  • Research shows carbs might be the "6th taste"
  • No glasses? Build your own eclipse-viewing box
  • New genetic markers help flag breast cancer risk
  • Sick kids get the chance to surf with a dog
  • Fleas test positive for the Plague in Coconino, Navajo Counties
  • Beginning-of-the-year colds expected as kids head back to school
  • STUDY: Pot smokers have 3 times greater risk of dying from high blood pressure
  • New study finds vegetarians twice as likely to be depressed than meat-eaters
  • Georgia couple raising twins with cystic fibrosis
  • Health officials: Moscow mules in copper mugs could make you sick