Talk:Taste/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2


Does anyone else taste sourness just by looking at something sour? Just me? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:46, 13 August 2009 (UTC)


/Basic taste —Preceding unsigned comment added by SilkTork (talkcontribs) 11:26, 22 November 2007 (UTC)


maybe put the sense of tase on gustation and leave this page for the (complex and lengthy) subject of aesthetic taste -- Tarquin

I think most people are looking for the gustatory version, not the sociological/aesthetic one. Richard001 08:14, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

I agree that most people are looking for gustation, but the article shortchanges gustation as well. To describe my complaint loosely, this article describes the gustatory noun "taste", but the gustatory verb "taste" ("what does it taste like, apples or oranges?") generally refers to "flavor" (which does not have sense verb), so there should be a more prominent mention of this in the first paragraph, even as a disambiguation. "You might be looking for the article on what things taste like; this is described at flavor" (talk) 21:20, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

X and VII

What are the (X) and (VII) things? Are these artifacts from something else? Or are they actually useful information? Quadell 19:55, May 3, 2004 (UTC)

The cranial nerves are numbered 1 through 12, but anatomists traditionally designate them by Roman numerals. The vagus nerve is the tenth cranial nerve to exit the brain (counting from the top down), and so is designated "X". Likewise, the facial nerve is "VII".Sayeth 19:32, Jul 8, 2004 (UTC)

Tarquin, I agree, there definitely needs to be a separate article for gustation.

--Johnkarp 07:40, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Perhaps this article should be simply about taste (the sense), with an italic header pointing to info about aesthetics. Merge in Basic taste for good measure. Jonathan Grynspan 28 June 2005 06:02 (UTC)

half of tongue blocked?

If half of the tongue is blocked from sending information to the brain, people will report that a doubling of psychological perception has occurred for sweet, sour, salty, and bitter.

What does this mean? How is half of the tongue blocked from sending information to the brain?

-- 03:17, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Probably that the nerves on one side of the tounge are numbed with lidocaine or a similar drug. Sayeth 20:17, July 29, 2005 (UTC)

Yes, I think this is right. This is probably a reference to a paper by Linda Bartoshuk, but my memory is the intensity of the taste is not doubled. It is only enhanced somewhat. I removed this statement because it was inaccurate and not especially relevant.SJS1971 04:38, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Glancing at Yanagisawa et al (1998) quickly, it doesn't look like Linda reported the magnitude of the increase. Eyeballing the figure, it looks to be about 25% for quinine on the contralateral side. Anyway, I agree it is probably too much detail for a general interest page. Jeh25 00:17, 16 February 2007 (UTC)


Any objection if I convert this into a proper dab, splitting out the relevant content into Gustatory system, Basic taste, and Taste (aesthetics)? --Arcadian 21:43, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Edits of 1/18/2007

I updated this article somewhat. There were some neuroanatomy errors, such as:

  • that the facial nerve passed on information to the glossopharyngeal nerve
  • that axons do not cross in the spinal cord (they don't go to the spinal cord at all - they are cranial nerves)
  • that "taste hairs" transduce stimuli... I've not heard that term unless the writer was thinking of the microvilli on taste receptor cells

I also rephrased some sentences to avoid terminological confusions. For example, tastes aren't transduced; taste stimuli are transduced. The taste (the sweetness, for example) is experienced by the organism - it is a psychological, not physical, entity.

I will try and come back to add references and put references in the preferred format.

I'm curious: does anyone know about this statement that "color deficiency" is related to taste sensitivity? I hadn't heard that...

SJS1971 04:43, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

While I certainly don't know the literature as well as you do, I've never read that "color deficiency" is linked to taste function either. If I was to speculate, I'd guess that at some point the previous poster was taught that:
a) PROP/PTC tasting was like colorblindness (eg. normal variation based on genetics)
b) that PROP/PTC tasting was linked to food sensations,
only to later misremember the two as being somehow related.
Unless somebody can come up with a source, I think it should probably be removed.Jeh25 00:13, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Light & primaries

"Some researchers still argue against the notion of primaries at all and instead favor a continuum of percepts similar to color vision."

While it is true that visible light is indeed a spectrum, it can still correctly be divided into three primary colors due to the fact that there are three types of cone cells in the human eye, with each type being more sensitive to a different part of the spectrum. Color vision is a poor choice of illustration, because both the idea of a spectrum and the idea of primary colors coexist without conflict. CobraA1 20:15, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. Changed from "similar to", to "in sharp contrast to", which is still clumsy but at least more accurate. Then again, the hypothesis is clumsy too: I don't think there's any part of the human nervous system which doesn't have primaries, whether they are the pigments, or tastes, or pain/heat/whatever of the nerves. There can't be a receptor that triggers when it's hit by a taste that's 25% salt, 25% sweet and 50% bitter: receptors don't work like that. They bind to one type of chemical, then send one type of signal. Like sight, our overall experience is the sum of all the nerves in that area. But with taste, we also get input from the nose, to confuse things.DewiMorgan 16:57, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

I think without a decent reference the above sentence should just be scrapped. DrJunge 22:22, 01.06.2007 (UTC)

The number of receptor types has no bearing on the number of psychophysical categories in either taste or vision. It is quite easy to demonstrate that a few receptors which are broadly responsive can give rise to a great many psychophysical distinctions. SJS1971 (talk) 21:03, 11 January 2008 (UTC) Addendum: I went ahead and added some references on the idea that taste does not have a small set of "primaries". I also reverted the sentence back to "similar to" color vision since it is not valid to infer psychophysical categories from a count of anatomical receptors: these are two completely different levels of analysis. SJS1971 (talk) 21:13, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

"For a long period, it was commonly accepted that there is a finite and small number of "basic tastes" of which all seemingly complex tastes are ultimately composed. Just as with primary colors, the "basic" quality of those sensations derives chiefly from the nature of human perception, in this case the different sorts of tastes the human tongue can identify."

I have several problems with this bit. First of all, it leaves the current scientific consensus on the matter unclear, it only states something which "was commonly accepted" once (past tense). Furthermore, if what follows is in fact supposed to reflect the current consensus (as would seem from an earlier version of the article which started the sentence with "it has been commonly accepted"), then this is incorrect, as far as I know. Complex tastes are not composed of the basic tastes, they also depend heavily on olfactory input. And even if you only look at combinations of the basic tastes, the perception of such combinations is analytic rather than synthetic, i.e. you perceive all the separate components (as in audition) rather than an intermediate (as in colour vision). Consequently, basic tastes are emphatically not like primary colours. Finally, the last bit (i.e. "the "basic" qualities of those sensations derives chiefly from the nature of human perception") is messy to say the least. It is especially unclear what is meant by the "nature of human perception". --Rubseb (talk) 00:13, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Two wikipedia pages on taste!

As well as this page, there is another page: These should be merged and IMHO classified under the conventional term "Taste" rather than "Basic Taste". Raichu2 04:35, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree - there is no need to split it off when we have such a small article here. I've added a merge template. I also suggest we redirect the acquired taste article here, at least until someone can flesh it out quite substantially. Richard001 05:30, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

We must be very careful not to mix up two concepts -- taste as the sense we have in our tongues and noses (in short, the psycho-physiological phenomenon) -- and taste as in preference (the psycho-social-cultural phenomenon). The article Basic Taste is about the former, but Acquired Taste is clearly about the latter. Mixing everything in the same bag could be confusing. SaintCahier 02:00, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I see your point. The article is only about tastes in terms of food at the moment, but could certainly be expanded to include taste in arts for example. It's still important to discuss the relevant aspects of it (which are at present the entire contents of the article) though. I'll take down that merge proposal, but the other remains.
On that front, the only reasons I can see for keeping them separate is 1) Leaving this page as an overview of both gustation and sociological taste, or if this article was too large to reasonably house its daughter. The size of this article however is a concern for being too short on such an important subject rather than too large, and there doesn't seem to be any hint of widening the scope, which would probably just be a case of needless duplication. Richard001 07:29, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Merge: This is a no-brainer. Oicumayberight 18:55, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Merge: obviously. These are two articles on the same subject. Rracecarr 21:32, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Types of Tastes

The basic tastes are said to be SWEET, SOUR, SALTY AND BITTER.

What is HOT? How does a Red Chili taste? - HOT. Isnt it?

is it the -ve version of SWEET?

may be we should add it to the basic tastes.


The burn/irritation from chilies are not considered a taste classically because they are carried to the CNS by a different set of nerve fibers (eg the trigeminal nerve as compared to the chorda tympani nerve).Jeh25 01:30, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

What about substances that "bring out" flavour?

I'm not much of a cook or a gourmet, but I've often heard that fat serves to "bring out" or enhance certain kinds of flavours. Shouldn't the article address this phenomenon? My guess, although I'm not sure, is that various flavour molecules are somehow dissolved in the fat, and therefore spread out over a wider surface area, so that the same amount of taste-inducing substance now induces a greater, stronger taste. I've also heard something similar about sugar (even seen an experiment on TV, involving Heston Blumenthal), but I have no idea of how that actually works. --Peter Knutsen (talk) 03:45, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Soapy taste

Obviously not the most popular to use in cooking, but I'm sure it must be some sort of taste? And is there an opposite of sour, ie a taste sensation when there is an excess of OH- ions? Alex9788 (talk) 11:05, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

I think that wikipedia currently considers that a "soapy flavor" (talk) 21:22, 25 July 2009 (UTC)


"Some researchers still argue against the notion of primaries at all and instead favor a continuum of percepts [7][8][9], similar to color vision."

This is a strange comparison to make, given that color vision definitely DOES involve primaries.

Ordinary Person (talk) 03:34, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Makes no sense

I removed the following paragraph because it makes no sense -

"One notable occurrence is the discrepancies between different salts when discussed from the perspective of the psychological sensation of taste. While NaCl, regular table salt, has one distinctive taste, another salt - the compound NaNH4, ammonium for example - is observed to have a completely different taste. This occurs despite the similarity in which this chemical is received in the taste receptors to NaCl. Reasons for this may include the mixing of sensations with sublimating particles of the salt entering the smell receptors through retronasal passageways and having a differing reaction there, which could produce a distinctively different flavor sensation. Other than that, the full bredth of reasoning on this subject is not yet accounted for as the understanding of taste and flavor are two very different and complicated fields."

1. There is no such salt as NaNH4. It would have the ionic formula of Na+ NH4+ which is impossible.

2. There are no salts which sublime under physiological conditions found in the human mouth.

3. The paragraph is rather poorly worded. —Preceding unsigned comment added by GeeOh (talkcontribs) 03:40, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Makes no sense

I removed the following paragraph because it makes no sense -

"One notable occurrence is the discrepancies between different salts when discussed from the perspective of the psychological sensation of taste. While NaCl, regular table salt, has one distinctive taste, another salt - the compound NaNH4, ammonium for example - is observed to have a completely different taste. This occurs despite the similarity in which this chemical is received in the taste receptors to NaCl. Reasons for this may include the mixing of sensations with sublimating particles of the salt entering the smell receptors through retronasal passageways and having a differing reaction there, which could produce a distinctively different flavor sensation. Other than that, the full bredth of reasoning on this subject is not yet accounted for as the understanding of taste and flavor are two very different and complicated fields."

1. There is no such salt as NaNH4. It would have the ionic formula of Na+ NH4+ which is impossible.

2. There are no salts which sublime under physiological conditions found in the human mouth.

3. The paragraph is rather poorly worded.

GeeOh (talk) 03:42, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Bad tasing combinations of good tasting food

Gentlemen, please mention something about why e.g., putting salt in one's coffee, or sugar on one's spaghetti tastes bad. I bet it is the stomach or saliva glands saying "hey Holmes, what exact acid formulation do you expect me to produce to digest that?" Jidanni (talk) 00:54, 24 May 2008 (UTC)


This entire article seems to revolve around the human perception of taste. Is there absolutely nothing worth mentioning on Wikipedia about the sense of taste in non-human creatures, aside from the fact that mice seem to be able to taste fat? What about carnivores' ability (or lack thereof) to taste meat proteins, fats, and salts? What about birds' supposed inability to taste bitterness? What about fish? Reptiles? Invertebrates?? (talk) 00:58, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for your suggestion. When you feel an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the edit this page link at the top. The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes — they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons why you might want to). Animal taste certainly is an important aspect of the topic and needs to be addressed. Did you have any sources in mind that could be incorporated into the article? --Gimme danger (talk) 01:13, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Mustard & Cinnamon

I was looking for some information on the tastes of ancient spices, mustard seed and cinnamon in particular, and was surprised not to find any mention of these wide spread spices here. Should we mention them somewhere in this article? And if yes, where? Mansize (talk) 14:50, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

at present you should look at the flavors of things like cinnamon and mustard (talk) 21:23, 25 July 2009 (UTC)


In the section of the article labeled "aftertaste" appears this sentence: "Aftertaste is the persistence of a sensation of flavor after the stimulating substance has passed out of contact with the sensory end organs for taste.[dubious – discuss]" I'm not the one who marked it as dubious, but since discussion is requested I would say that some foods (such as wine, which was offered as an example) do indeed appear as a series of tastes but not only after the wine has been swallowed. Perhaps some chemical reactions take longer to complete than others, so that the successive sensations of blueberry, oak and chocolate (or whatever) are the result of chemical timing.RHBridges (talk) 17:15, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Are the multiple flavors you perceive while tasting a single substance properly called aftertastes? I'm not sure. Anyway, the sentence as stated seems to miss the fact that aftertastes are generally different from during-tastes. Looie496 (talk) 18:00, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

I recommend revising the sentence. Although the stimulating substance is typically swallowed before we speak of an aftertaste, the fact that one is still tasting something is caused by the lingering presence of some molecules which continue to activate the taste receptors. If literally all of the substance passed out of contact, there would be no reason for these receptors to stay activated, and thus for any taste to remain. Note that this is different from visual afterimages, which are caused by photoreceptor fatigue and therefore the opposite of the original input (green produces red afterimage). The current phrasing suggests that taste receptors, be it on the tongue or in the nose, have some sort of memory allowing them to stay activated in the absence of stimulation, which simply isn't true, as far as I know. --Rubseb (talk) 23:42, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Measurement of Taste

Is there any dimensions of the Taste. For example , a particular quality of Sugar may be sweeter than others, is there any way to Quantify the same ?? if yes then what are the units of measurement. Ap aravind (talk) 14:59, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Questions not related to improving an article should go to the Science Reference Desk. Looie496 (talk) 17:43, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Acidic bitterness

How can lidocaine have been identified as the source of a bitter taste, when it comes in a solution of HCl, which is acid? I thought acid is sour and bitterness is associated with alkaline? DRosenbach (Talk | Contribs) 23:36, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Savouriness vs umami

I noticed that two editors recently (and I think independently) changed all "savoury" to "umami" and vice-versa.

My opinion is that Wikipedia articles are not scientific papers, therefore they should be accessible to most English speakers. At least until a time when "umami" will be used in common parlance with comparable frequency to "savoury", we should prefer clarity and accessibility to (let's face it) nerdy terms like "umami" and "initialism" that may be more precise (are they?) but require the vast majority of readers to interrupt their reading the article and look up these terms - or roll their eyes. (talk) 05:38, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Does using "savory" (note spelling) really promote clarity? It seems like a pretty vague term to me -- the general concept behind umami is more like "meatiness", and I'm not sure that "savory" gets that across. I agree that it's best to use terms that readers will understand, but I don't think that readers are likely to get the intended meaning here. Looie496 (talk) 18:49, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

Thank you. I appreciate your argument, and I don't feel too strongly about the issue, but if savouriness and umami are such different concepts (are they?), why does the former point to the latter article? My understanding is that umami is not less vague a concept than savoury. Umami is also not necessarily about "meatiness", but more about "glutamic acidity", for which I think "savouriness" would be good enough a proxy for the purpose of this section.

Please note that I'm not proposing we remove the use of "umami" completely from this section, just switch to "savoury" after introducing "umami" as the most appropriate term and perhaps explaining the difference from savoury (if any). It just seems another case of cryptocratic bullying of the reader through words that are never used outside of a niche context - or to bring back the case of "initialism", never used at all outside of Wikipedia. (talk) 00:30, 11 November 2009 (UTC)

I was the original editor who changed "umami" to "savory" for clarity. I still stand by it, as more people will understand the idea of savoriness than the idea of a word which most readers have never heard before. Savory is usually the word used to describe umami to people--so what's the point of using the non-english word? I'll modify it back.
To me and apparently others, using "umami" induces eye-rolling as much as Miss Piggy calling herself "moi", so it's got that going for it too. --Mhalberstam (talk) 14:47, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
The point is that the word "umami" actually means something specific: the taste of glutamate. Replacing an obscure word that means something with a familiar word that has no specific meaning is not a gain, in my opinion. Readers who wonder what the word "umami" means can find out, but readers who wonder what the word "savoury" means in this context are just lost. When I get the time, I'm going to see if it is possible to revise the article in a way that makes it both precise and understandable. Looie496 (talk) 16:11, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough, but you may want to start from the Umami article then, because the lead (which I find correct) does not suggest that saying "savoury" instead of "umami", especially outside of scientific papers, is such a mortal sin. (talk) 01:22, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Language changes as terms are added to it and adopted. Umamai is one of those terms and as far as the science behind the taste senses, it's here to stay. It behooves the Wikipedia community to utilize clarity and accuracy when possible, for example, like with scientific names. I've used Umami in the article to advance not only the adoption of the word (which is correct) but to also facilitate the clarity of the article itself. If people are uncomfortable using adopted words to adequately describe something, they will find themselves without much of a vocabulary. - Team4Technologies (talk) 19:05, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

I agree that Umami is a valid word. But I also believe that "Savory" and "Umami" are interchangeable, with one being clearer than the other. Most every article about Umami needs to use the term "savory" to describe the taste to its readers--because "Umami" alone is inadequate to describe it. A dog's scientific name is "Canis lupus familiaris", yet the Dog article only mentions the scientific name, and reverts back to using the term "dog". This is general usage on Wikipedia. Referring to the "scientific term" in the article is fine, but insisting that it is the only term is not up to standards. Furthermore, your desire for "advancing the adoption of the word" sounds more like an agenda rather than a push for clarity. Reverting changes. --Mhalberstam (talk) 20:36, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
So, "savory" is the accepted term on the "Taste" page. But the bottom Taste box has "Umami", and the "Savory" page is also Umami. I fully support using the term "savory" for the taste and the name of the pages while still including and mentioning Umami. I'd like to see some standardization of the term. Now, what I see as the problem is "Umami" has its own page - which is perfectly fine. It is a page that specifically talks about "Umami". It does not talk about "savory". But when you type in "savory" to wikipedia, it takes you to "Umami". It should take you to the "Savory" subsection of Taste, or it should take you to a new "Savory" page. All of the subsections on the "Taste" page have their own article. Savoryness should as well. I am not an expert on the subject, but Umami could be included as a subsection on an expanded Savory page if they are that closely related. All I do know is "Umami" is out of place here. The Taste page should not have "Savory" as a subsection, but the Taste box have "Umami" as a subsection. It is not uniform. (talk) 04:28, 1 July 2010 (UTC)belthistoryguy
They aren't really the same thing. "Savory" is a vague term that sometimes means "meaty" but often just means "good tasting". Umami, on the other hand, is a Japanese term that refers to a specific quality, just as sour or sweet does. There is no English word that is equivalent to "umami"; "savory" is just the best of several poor approximations. It would be a shame to replace an article about a word that has a definite specific meaning with an article about a nebulous English word. Looie496 (talk) 23:10, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
I didn't say to replace it, but to add a Savory link. In the "Taste" box, only "Sweetness" links to a new page. The others link back to the "Taste" page. At the Taste page is "Savoryness" with a link to Umami. The "Taste" should reflect this. I am going to edit it now for consistency. When you type "Savory" into Wikipedia, it should also link you to the section on the taste page, instead of to the Umami page. Especially since Umami is linked from it. (talk) 05:27, 2 July 2010 (UTC)belthistoryguy
I note that the above IP edited some redirects etc to point to Taste#Savoriness in place of Umami. As long as this page points to Umami as the main article for the savoriness section, and the Umami article claims savoriness as a synonym, this change is unhelpful to readers. I have reverted the redirects and repointed the taste template to Umami (but left the text as "savoriness" as this term does seem to sit better with salt, sweet etc.). I suggest you complete this discussion and determine consensus before wholesale changes to redirects etc., as this might disrupt Wikipedia. Note that English Wikipedia does not require slavish consistency in word usage throughout Wikipedia; commonly a single concept has many synonyms, different ones of which are appropriate in different cases, e.g, Danzig vs. Gdansk.
Note also the recent move request for Umami, Talk:Umami#Rename, this neological term is highly promotional!. This was proposed citing a different rationale, however this does not stop contributors supporting the move under alternate rationales; the proposal was almost unanimously opposed. Some of the comments made there appear relevant to this discussion. --MegaSloth (talk) 12:00, 3 July 2010 (UTC)
You are bringing up an article on renaming the Umami article to Savory. That is not my argument or concern at all. My concern is uniformity and clarification. Savory is the word we decided on for taste. There is a Savory section with Savory information. So when I type "Savoryness" into Wikipedia, I should be taken to the Savoryness section, not to Umami. Umami is a lesser-known, slightly different, and more technical word. It deserves its own article, and it deserves a link at Savory. But it does not deserve to be the redirect for Savory. Why not have Umami as a "see also"? What you are proposing makes no sense. How is my change unhelpful to readers? Umami does not redirect to Savoryness. Umami directs to Umami, and Savory directs to Savory. If they both are unique enough to have their own sections, then they should be unique enough to have their search terms being up each other. If you feel this strongly about Umami and Savory, you should focus on that issue of changing "Savoryness" to "Umami" on the taste page. The information is not identical in both sections either. Savoryness is unique enough to be its own search term. Umami does not go away. The Umami page does not vanish. It is the most logical redirect for search terms revolving around "Savory". Umami tends to be a more scientific article, Savoryness tends to reflect the actual taste more. And, since "Savoryness" is a taste sensation, and Umami, while also a taste sensation, deals with the science of taste and not what causes them, it is an illogical redirect. Under my method, prospective readers who search for Savoryness would find the Savory article, be able to read it, and also be able to click the Umami link and further their pursuit. Under yours, they go straight to Umami and learn nothing about what Savoryness is or how it relates to other tastes. What is your issue with the direct to Savoryness, exactly71.185.250.142 (talk) 04:45, 4 July 2010 (UTC)belthistoryguy
When a reader types a word into Wikipedia, he should be redirected to the page that discusses the concept he is looking for. As umami makes clear, "umami" and "savoriness" are both words used for the concept of a "fifth taste". Both Taste#Savoriness and Umami discuss this concept of a "fifth taste". It is therefore appropriate and correct that the section points to the article as a main article, and the redirect savoriness should point to the main article on this concept, currently called umami. Getting hung up on the precise words used for a concept in different cases does not help the reader find the concept they are looking for. I do not see the clear difference you claim between the content of Taste#Savoriness and Umami, nor any clear differentiation between the meanings of umami and savoriness. From the wikipedia articles as of now (emphasis mine):
"Umami ... one of the basic tastes" ... "The umami taste is due to the detection of the carboxylate anion of glutamic acid"
"and savoriness (also known as umami) have been traditionally identified as basic tastes " ... "Savoriness is the name for the taste sensation produced by amino acids such as glutamate"
i.e the topic of the article and the section is completely or practically indistinguishably the same, a "basic taste" associated with glutamate. The following reliable sources identify "savoriness" or "savory" and "umami" as synonyms [1][2][3]. I haven't seen any that distinguish a difference in meaning between the two in the context of a name for one of the "basic tastes". Perhaps you could provide some? --MegaSloth (talk) 22:24, 4 July 2010 (UTC)
I am not concerned with them being synonyms, as we already established we were going to use Savory. And I am not concerned with what you pulled out, because you pulled out information to support your claim. I, however, read the article, as I already stated. The Umami article focuses on chemicals and neurons. Go look at it. The Savory article deals with where it is found in food, how it is used in cooking, how it works with other tastes, etc. As is, it is a logical separation between the two, because Umami was discovered by scientists through scientific means, whereas savory is a taste sensation. Furthermore, if we scroll down the Taste page, we come upon "Heartiness (Kokumi)". Identical to the Savory (Umami) situation, and yet there is no fuss over it from you. Even further more, address my issue of there being a subsection called "Savoryness" that does not have "Savoryness" link to it. Umami should be a "See Also:". The articles are distinct. And I proved it. (talk) 23:40, 4 July 2010 (UTC)belthistoryguy
I'm sorry, perhaps I'm being dull, but I can't see any content in Taste#Savouriness that isn't in Umami. Perhaps you could point it out? Certainly umami discusses "where it is found in food, how it is used in cooking, how it works with other tastes". Human knowledge is not divided into "science" and non-science. The science of umami is the science of the savoury taste sensation. It is appropriate that they share an article, and they do. It happens to be named "umami". Do I take it from your comment you are "not concerned" with them being synonyms that you agree that they are? There is a general consensus within Wikipedia that the choice of use of synonym is basically arbitrary and determined by issues of comprehensibility, context, bias and style before concerns over internal consistency (WP:TITLE#Treatment of alternative names). Personally I don't care which synonym is used in which context or article, I'm concerned that redirects point to the correct topic. Where a main article exists, redirects for a topic should point to the main article, not a subsidiary section discussing the same. For example, all "sweetness" redirects point to sweetness not Taste#Sweetness. Since there is no article or redirect named either "kokumi" or "heartiness", why would I make a fuss over it? --MegaSloth (talk) 19:56, 5 July 2010 (UTC)
Umami's only mention of its use in cooking is - "Glutamate has a long history in cooking. It is naturally found in East and Southeast Asian foods, such as soy sauce and fish sauce, and in Italian foods like parmesan cheese, anchovies and ripe tomatoes. It is also prevalent in seafood, such as lobster, crabs, and shrimp."
Savorienss's mention of its use in cooking is - "Savoriness is the name for the taste sensation produced by amino acids such as glutamate. The compounds that generate savoriness are commonly found in fermented and aged foods. It is also described as "meatiness", "relish", or having a "rich" taste. Savoriness is considered a fundamental taste in Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Korean cooking, but is not discussed as much in Western cuisine, at least prior to the introduction of the umami concept in the West."
Humans have taste receptors specifically for the detection of the amino acids, e.g., glutamic acid. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and are found in meats, cheese, fish, and other protein-heavy foods. Examples of food containing glutamate (and thus strong in savoriness) are beef, lamb, parmesan, and roquefort cheese as well as soy sauce and fish sauce. The glutamate taste sensation is most intense in combination with sodium ions, as found in table salt. Sauces with savory and salty tastes are very popular for cooking, such as Worcestershire sauce for Western cuisines and soy sauce and fish sauce for Oriental (East Asian) cuisines.
The additive monosodium glutamate (MSG), which was developed as a food additive in 1907 by Kikunae Ikeda, produces a strong savory taste. Savoriness is also provided by the nucleotides 5’-inosine monophosphate (IMP) and 5’-guanosine monophosphate (GMP). These are naturally present in many protein-rich foods. IMP is present in high concentrations in many foods, including dried skipjack tuna flakes and kombu used to make "dashi", a Japanese broth. GMP is present in high concentration in dried shiitake mushrooms, used in much of the cuisine of Asia. There is a synergistic effect between MSG, IMP, and GMP which together in certain ratios produce a strong savory taste.
Some savory taste buds respond specifically to glutamate in the same way that "sweet" ones respond to sugar. Glutamate binds to a variant of G protein coupled glutamate receptors.[32][33]"
For the record, that is the entire article. Now, since you must make me, this is the rest of the Umami article - "Umami has been described in biochemical studies identifying the actual taste receptor responsible for the sense of umami, a modified form of mGluR4[7] named "taste-mGluR4."
Umami tastes are initiated by these specialized receptors, with subsequent steps involving secretion of neurotransmitters including serotonin.[8] Other evidence indicates guanosine derivatives may interact with and boost the initial umami signal.[9] Cells responding to umami taste stimuli do not possess typical synapses, but instead secrete the neurotransmitter ATP in a mechanism exciting sensory fibers that convey taste signals to the brain. In monkey studies, most umami signals from taste buds excite neurons in the orbitofrontal cortex of the brain, showing spatially specific characteristics[10] Single neurons having vigorous responses to sodium glutamate also respond to glutamic acid. Some neurons display a mechanism of satiety, indicating a process by which taste receptors in the mouth may interact with cortical neurons to curtail eating The stomach can "taste" sodium glutamate using glumate receptors[11] and this information is passed to the lateral hypothalamus and limbic system in the brain as a palatability signal through the vagus nerve.[12]
With this additional part in the beginning: has been proposed as one of the basic tastes sensed by specialized receptor cells present on the human and animal tongue. Umami (旨味?) is a loanword from Japanese meaning "good flavor" or "good taste" (noun).[1] In English, however, "brothy", "meaty", or "savory" have been proposed as alternative translations.[2][3] In as much as it describes the flavor common to savory products such as meat, cheese, and mushrooms, umami is similar to Brillat-Savarin's concept of osmazome, an early attempt to describe the main flavoring component of meat as extracted in the process of making stock.
The umami taste is due to the detection of the carboxylate anion of glutamic acid, a naturally occurring amino acid common in meat, cheese, broth, stock, and other protein-heavy foods. Salts of glutamic acid, known as glutamates, easily ionize to give the same carboxylate form and therefore the same taste. For this reason, they are used as flavor enhancers. The most commonly used of these is monosodium glutamate (MSG). While the umami taste is due to glutamates, 5'-ribonucleotides such as guanosine monophosphate (GMP) and inosine monophosphate (IMP) greatly enhance its perceived intensity. Since these ribonucleotides are also acids, their salts are sometimes added together with glutamates to obtain a synergistic flavor enhancement effect."[2][4]
Granted, it does briefly touch on the basic foods you'd find it in, but it's not enough. The two articles are vastly different, as I inferred from reading them. And, now you must have read them as well. One deal with science. One deals with taste. Umami was discovered by Japanese scientists. Savoury is an English term that is similar (and some say synonyms, though others would disagree). But the word "Umami" is still under acceptance, with other alternative words also being proposed, and the concept of it not fully understood by everyone. Some articles I have read describe Umami as an aspect of savouryness. Whatever the case, we do not have Umami listed as one of the "Basic Tastes", and we do not have similar content on either page. I can only think that Umami, while important to Wikipedia, can not be listed as a synonym of savoury. Change it to a "see also" and redirect savoury to the taste article. The page for Umami itself says: "Umami, also referred to as savoriness, has been proposed as one of the basic tastes sensed by specialized receptor cells present on the human and animal tongue. Umami (旨味?) is a loanword from Japanese meaning "good flavor" or "good taste" (noun).[1] In English, however, "brothy", "meaty", or "savory" have been proposed as alternative translations.[2][3] In as much as it describes the flavor common to savory products such as meat, cheese, and mushrooms, umami is similar to Brillat-Savarin's concept of osmazome, an early attempt to describe the main flavoring component of meat as extracted in the process of making stock."
I would like to point out a few things. "Has been proposed", the fuzzyness on the translation itself, and using the word "savory" to describe Umami. If people need to use "savory" as a definition for "Umami", then "Umami" should not get precedence over "Savory". The article essentially admits that "savory" is a more understood concept. And as such, my suggestion is supported by the article. Now, I have given many reasons for my logic. What else do you need clarified? (I am sorry if this is hard to read, but it is the nature of posting both articles.) (talk) 23:49, 5 July 2010 (UTC)belthistoryguy

I can and have read both the article and the section, quoting them in entirety is wasting everyone's time. Being succinct and specific, as I have tried to do, is really helpful in this kind of discussion. For example, you could name a single subject fact covered in Taste#Savoriness that does not and cannot reasonably have similar or deeper coverage in umami. You're completely failing to convince me; your arguments appear to be more about the minutiae of article content, and the context in which a certain synonym is generally preferred, not the overall article topic. Such concerns are best addressed by editing the articles concerned, rather than pedantic and unhelpful changes to the targets of redirects in opposition to consensus. My position remains that umami is a synonym for savouriness in the context of basic tastes, and that the article umami and the section taste#Savoriness are about the same topic, using alternate synonyms as a title. I have provided reliable sources supporting the assertion that these are synonyms. This use of synonyms is entirely acceptable in English Wikipedia, and in this circumstance any synonyms should redirect to the main article rather than a subsection of another article (WP:Redirect). While I remain opposed to your changes, I do not intend to flog a dead horse, and thus will not continue to argue this unless new arguments, preferably put succinctly, are put forward. If you wish to pursue these changes, I suggest you do this or consider the steps outlined in WP:dispute resolution. --MegaSloth (talk) 08:49, 6 July 2010 (UTC)

I explained why Savoryness has different content than Umami. I explained why Umami is a purely scientific article. I don't see anyone looking to change or edit either article, and I see no need to as both articles work well on their own. There is no problem between the two of them. Your position that "umami" and "savoriness" are about the same topic is extremely wrong based on reading both articles. Umami is specific, savoriness is general. Umami is only explained and defined when using Savory, thus making Savory the chief word on top of it. If both are synonyms, I see no reason to favour the more esoteric one. On the way to work today, I heard a KFC commercial describing their sauce as "savory". It is an established English word that people understand the definition of. It is used to define Umami. Umami is, essentially, a scientific concept. If you wish to end the discussion, and both articles remain unchanged, then savoryness will remain the article chiefly concerned with taste, and Umami about the science behind the term. And, if that is the case, I will see no reason to veto the redirects and the change to "see also". My arguments are extremely logical and reasonable. Instead of hiding behind "this argument is going nowhere", address my points. I want from you, specifically, why you want to use Umami over Savory when 1. Umami is almost always defined by Savory. 2. Savory is a commonly used English word. 3. Umami is a strictly scientifically defined term and article, while Savory is a general idea. (talk) 03:37, 7 July 2010 (UTC)belthistoryguy

This seems to be an invented meaning for the word 'savory.' Savory is a word for a general idea about flavor, but not in the sense of a basic taste like sweet, salty, bitter, or sour. Merriam-Webster's definition of savory reads-

having savor: as a : piquantly pleasant to the mind <a savory triumph> b : morally exemplary : edifying c : pleasing to the sense of taste especially by reason of effective seasoning d : pungently flavorful without sweetness

synonyms see palatable-

A food with umami may indeed be savory, and a pastry filling or a sauce may be either sweet or savory, but savory itself does not describe a specific taste. In the context of this article, umami is clearly the correct term.Ghadhean (talk) 09:36, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

IP contributor: Please read what I have written above. Personally, I do not wish to replace the word "savouriness" with "umami". My position is clearly stated above, and is only to do with the targets of redirects. Please support your above arguments about your understanding of "umami" and "savouriness" with suitable reliable sources, as I have my assertion that they are synonyms. I do not see the "science", "cookery/non-science" distinction you claim between Taste#Savoriness and umami - each mention cookery ingredients and "scientific" terms like 5’-guanosine monophosphate. The taste article appears to primarily discuss the science of taste throughout. Please support your assertion that Taste#Savoriness and umami discuss different topics by providing one single material fact contained in Taste#Savoriness not discussed in (and inappropriate to) umami. I have read both, and can find none. In the absence of such information, Taste#Savoriness is clearly a section summarising umami and the redirects should be to umami. I am hiding behind nothing; I do not claim your arguments are illogical or unreasonable, I simply find them wholly unconvincing. I thus find it pointless continually re-rehearsing them. It is possible that other editors may be swayed by your arguments, however I am yet to see contributions to the discussion from any. --MegaSloth (talk) 00:23, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Did this dispute get resolved? It's unclear from reading through this talk section, but I'm seeing an edit war in the making. Personally, I'd rather we use savoriness, but clearly there are people who feel relatively strongly about both sides (looking at the edit history, Fleetham and Mhalberstam). If it was resolved, what was the result? It looks like umami has been dominating the article for a while, so it would appear that it was resolved in favor of that, but I'd really like for there to be something clear, right here, so that we have something to refer to if this crops up again. ~rezecib (talk) 04:39, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

I haven't participated in the edit war, but count me as one in favor of "umami". This Japanese word specifically means a taste produced by protein; the English word "savory" is much more vague. Looie496 (talk) 05:29, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

I am in favor of keeping umami. Not only does it refer specifically to the fifth taste, but the only place I have seen "savory" used as a euphemism is Wikipedia.

The initial argument for using the word savory instead of umami was that this non-foreign term was more accessible to the non-scientist reader and that umami was not in common use. I believe the term is in common use and that using savory as the preferred word ill informs the reader. Savory is often used to describe umami but is no substitute for the correct term.

  • This New York Times article names this taste umami, afterwards mentioning that it is a Japanese word meaning savory.
  • This Japanese Government Ministry's page on umami doesn't even find it necessary to employ the word savory to describe this fifth taste.
  • This National Public Radio article also uses umami' exclusively.
  • This article names the basic taste umami, describing it using "savoriness".
  • This Wall Street Journal article says the term umami is used in "food-science circles".
  • The Wikipedia article is Umami, not "savory".

Fleetham (talk) 15:37, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

To me, these links do more to support the use of savory than it does to support umami. As you point out above, most of the articles above use "savory" as a way to explain umami to their audience. The Japanese pages of course do not mention it, but they are written by a Japanese speaker, so that is not valid when looking for proper English usage. If a word is commonly needed to describe a term to the public, I feel it is the far better, simpler term. We've been over this before--most of the discussion since that verdict had really been about the link to the Umami page rather than the term itself, but has been used as an attack point by umami-philes. (BTW, you mentioning that "the only place I have seen 'savory' used as a euphemism is Wikipedia." and then using a Wikipedia article as a support for your claim greatly clashes against itself).
I am reverting back to Savory. I will leave alone the links to the "umami information center", even though I feel it is a promotional page and not a proper reference source. It's main purpose is to essentially to associate savoriness as being a product sold by The Umami Manufacturer’s Association of Japan, and thus uses the non-general, foodie/scientific circle term "umami".
Mhalberstam (talk) 02:31, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I also wanted to add a couple of other supporting claims:
  • The Miriam-Webster medical dictionary (the only reference of umami on uses savory to describe the word. This also shows that the word is referred to as a medical / scientific term.
  • Sources that state that umami does not translate to "savory", (such as the umami page on wikipedia) use the translation of "good flavor". However, even this is a valid ::definition of savory--"pleasant or agreeable in taste or smell".
  • There is no equivalent of "savoriness", or a term used to state the essence of the taste when using the word umami. In the umami edits, the copy reads strange because of this lack of translation.
Mhalberstam (talk) 02:54, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

My point is: the name of this fifth basic taste is umami. That's what the people who discovered it called it. That's what scientists call it. That's how it is referred to in late, popular media. Using the word "savory" to describe this fifth basic taste is common practice, not the reverse. Fleetham (talk) 05:42, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Okay, then it is agreed that 'savory' is "common practice" in the English speaking world, so 'savory' is what should be used in an English encyclopedia. I would agree that 'umami' would be the correct word in the japanese speaking world. VMS Mosaic (talk) 06:31, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, the people who discovered it called it umami, but they were in a Japanese speaking country. What scientists call something and what we use in everyday, common usage is not the same (see my comments above on "Canis lupus familiaris" vs. the use of "Dog"). And popular media is using the "exotic", less known word because its audience is more likely to read an article about a concept they have not heard about. But this isn't the foodie section in your newspaper, this is an encyclopedia. Our job is to explain to readers, and instead of how these pop culture articles always need to explain the concept of umami with "savory", we should use the common term to directly name what we are talking about.
Regarding your undo comment in the article, we had come to an agreement much earlier, and I was reverting back to that standard. Someone hijacked a comment about where links should go into changing it back to the improper term. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mhalberstam (talkcontribs) 13:00, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Maybe using "savory" was common practice when the prior consensus was reached, but I believe I've provided sufficient examples to show that this is no longer the case. In today's popular media, the term used is umami.

Also, the name of this fifth basic taste is umami. "Savory" may a good word to describe this fifth basic taste but it is not its name. Fleetham (talk) 18:55, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

You do not have sufficient examples for "today's popular media". Most of the links you provided are older than the decision made last year for "savory". It does not feel like you are listening to anyones comments (you have not responded to anyone's counterclaims), so I am going to turn to the admins. Posted on the noticeboard for edit warring.
Mhalberstam (talk) 00:37, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

My view is that the name of this basic taste is umami.

  • "Savory" is a word that means pleasant tasting but not sweet.
  • Umami is a word for the fifth basic taste, which detects glutamate and was discovered in 1908.

simple as that Fleetham (talk) 03:24, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

"simple as that" is not a valid justification for anything. Wikipedia is based on consensus. It's not clear to me what, if any, previous consensus there was on the subject, but "simple as that" and "My view" has no meaning here. VMS Mosaic (talk) 06:15, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
"Umami" is the Japanese word for the fifth basic taste, when it was introduced in Japan. The English translation is "Savory", a concept that already existed, yet not seen as a basic taste. Every non-Japanese article uses savory to describe it to the reader. Where is your basis for stating that these two words are not the same? You state these things like they are fact but have no proof. You cannot defend against any other anti-umami claim. This is just your personal desire to use umami.

Mhalberstam (talk) 11:43, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

This has already been resolved in favor of umami. See Talk:Umami#Rename, this neological term is highly promotional! ~rezecib (talk) 04:35, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

The discusson on the umami page was not if umami was the proper term. It was rather if umami was only a promotional term, and thus not worthy of the page. And because people had heard it outside of promotional use, this was not considered as a reason to change the word.
The "discovery" in Japan related to savoryiness/umami is that it was a basic taste, meaning there were specific receptors in the tongue that tasted the flavor. The idea of savoriness had existed long before then. I guess an analogy would be: if French speaking scientists discovered that the taste of coffee had specific receptors in the tongue, they would call it the "café" taste, but English speakers would still call it the "coffee" taste. Because the idea of the taste is not the discovery, it is just the mechanism for us to recognize it.
And to be a baby about it, we had come to a resolution about this last year, but somehow it got picked up again, so I feel it is fair to revisit the argument.
Mhalberstam (talk) 12:28, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
No, the discussion was on whether Wikipedia should use the term umami or savoriness, and it was decided to keep it at umami. Look; I think it should be savory, too, but this has already been decided. Please stop this edit war. ~rezecib (talk) 12:39, 8 October 2010 (UTC)


"Bitterness" redirects here. Should this not redirect to "resentment"? (When I typed in "bitterness", I meant bitternes as in resentment, not as in the taste). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:40, 27 December 2009 (UTC)


What about the taste associated with certain spoiled, rotten food. It feels to me like such food can most often not be properly classed into any of these five basic categories. (talk) 15:36, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

The taste is nothing special. It's the odor component of the flavor that carries the noxiousness. Rancidity and rot are very different things, by the way -- rancidity comes from oxidation of fats, rot from microbial growth. Looie496 (talk) 17:53, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

Article changes, information loss and misleading terms

Hi folks. I was intrigued to notice the recent changes made since the version of 7 September 2010], when the article contained more information in the sections on basic tastes. While experiments in layout and simplification of article information can be useful, there can be drawbacks if useful information is lost, particularly for sections for which there is no dedicated article, such as Bitterness (taste). Sections for which there exist dedicated articles are of course less susceptible to this problem, provided that editors take the care to ensure that anything deleted from this article is covered in the main article, or incorporated if not. Useful references can also be lost with wholesale changes if care is not taken.

Regarding the use of "index" terms. In my readings over time, including a period where I tracked down and reviewed a large amount of material from a range of disciplines, I don't ever recall coming across specific terminology of "quinine index", "NaCl index", "sucrose index", or "HCL index" in the sense used here. Given how long these substance have been used as datums for relative indices, and how widely they are referred to as index substances, if the terms were to have entered the professional lexicon as used in this article, but they'd have done so by now, and not only would I have likely come across them as search terms, but they would be found in textbooks in the sense used in this article. However, that does not appear to be the case. The WHO reference for example (Quality control methods for medicinal plant materials, Pg. 38 World Health Organization, 1998), while it does have a chapter on "Determination of Bitterness Value" in which there is a useful discussion, does not use the term "quinine index" anywhere in the entire work, although there is reference to other types of index (e.g. the foaming and swelling indexes). Similarly, I haven't found consistent reference to "sucrose index" in the sense used in this article. I find individual uses in articles where the index is defined relative to the methodology of the article and for the convenience of discussion (and "refractive index" in relation to sucrose measurement in produce), but not as used here, which therefore has the potential to be misleading. It might be better to choose different headings: such as "Bitterness index", "Saltiness index", "Sourness index", and "Sweetness index", since these are descriptively accurate, and not susceptible to the challenges of original research or misleading terminology. Wotnow (talk) 06:09, 13 September 2010 (UTC)


I rewrote much of the info. because I am in the process of fact checking. So please assume that the sections that include deceptive and wrong info. will be removed (or rewritten) shortly.

Also, I changed the "Quinine index" section to better reflect the source. Fleetham (talk) 18:54, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for responding. I figured what I was observing was a work in progress, and I am impressed with your effort to restructure the page. Some of the above-mentioned sections did indeed contain some good, and accurate information (the primary purpose of the link being to make it easy to check for material to utilise), but that doesn't mean it was well presented and readable. And of course non-internet sources do not make for easy verification.
The field is both fascinating yet sometimes frustrating, conceptually simple yet complex in detail. The frustration is derivative partly from the complexities, but mostly from the fact that to get a decent overview, one must wade into a range of disciplines, which don't always cross-pollinate. Unfortunately, some of the best overviews (past or present) which attempt to pull together material from disparate fields don't appear to be readily, or freely, accessable via internet.
The current exercise did cause me to check a more recent edition of Guyton's Textbook of Medical Physiology (now Guyton & Hall's Textbook...), and I see that whereas earlier editions such as the 5th (1976) and 8th (1991) refer to four primary tastes (sour, salty, sweet and bitter), the 11th edition (2006) refers to five primary tasts (sour, salty, sweet, bitter and "umami"), with a description of umami. Nevertheless, the 'Relative Taste Indices' table does not include umami. This is probably because firstly, most of the data in this table and similar tables in other publications derive from the same early works, with additions here and there for new substances rated relative to the established indices for the four better known tastants.
Secondly, while knowledge of umami is firming up, the data are still coming in. In the mid-90s, part of the discussions pertained to whether this was another taste perception or an artifact of linguistics or even marketing (and all the dubious practices that come with science as a front for marketing) and of course it takes time for reliably differentiating data to accumulate. It looks like monosodium glutamate is becoming a benchmark against which to rate umami as "a signal for amino acid content", but I've yet to find any tabulated data as we find for the other tastants. But given that those data go back as far as 1947, there's no surprises in that. If such tabulations are made for umami, it'll occur much quicker, so I'd be on a constant lookout in the next few years. Wotnow (talk) 23:34, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Update: I notice that some texts are not particularly well worded, leading to some misunderstanding regarding the taste indices. I'll probably create a taste indices table as found in Guyton & Hall, and in McLaughlin & Margolskee. Svrivastava & Rastogi (2003) also provide a partial table, based on Guyton. I found tables such as these to be highly useful in understanding the indices - far more so than just working my way through texts. A combination of a succinct sentence and such a table, and one sees at a glance a range of useful information and incorporates this into one's understanding of the concept - the tabular version of "a picture paints a thousand words". Wotnow (talk) 01:49, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
I notice you haven't restored any of the information Wotnow mentioned as being deleted. In particular, the information about the basic tastes, for the most part, do not have articles of their own and redirect here, yet their sections are scanty and mostly uninformative. Are you still planning to restore that information? I don't see any reason why it should have been removed in the first place. The mechanisms involved in each taste in particular are missing, but they were in the earlier revision mentioned above. Is there any good reason not to have that information back? While I await your answer, I'm going to add it back. A dullard (talk) 04:24, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
You're right, too many of the basic tastes sections were too scanty. But the older versions you replaced now contain redundant information. I hope no one minds if I remove mention of how the basic tastes are detected, as that information was removed to a "functional structure" section. I also want to replace information from the deleted sections and remove the examples of things that taste bitter, sour, etc. I've added examples of things that have an umami taste because some readers may be unfamiliar with that taste. I don't see the same need for examples with the other tastes. Please let me know how you feel about these proposed changes. Fleetham (talk) 14:46, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
That seems fine, I was just concerned about the loss of some of the information. A dullard (talk) 22:05, 14 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't think there was any loss of info; it just got re-arranged into separate sections. If you're worried about the sparseness of each basic taste section perhaps it would be best to consolidate the now-disparate information. Fleetham (talk) 08:45, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
It would make sense to consolidate it I'd say. Regarding the loss of info, compare the two sections on each taste. The version I re-added has much more detail for each taste.A dullard (talk) 10:34, 15 April 2011 (UTC)
I think consolidating all information about each taste is not a good idea, at least with the current structure. The "Basic tastes" should be read as a whole, and that's impossible if each of its five subsections is more than one or two paragraphs long. The current article is already at the upper limit for that. If you are to consolidate to have a long section for each taste, please make them top-level sections instead of subsections, and fill in the "basic tastes" section with a summary style for each taste. Diego Moya (talk) 12:09, 15 April 2011 (UTC)