QS Study

Modalities of Taste

Taste is a sense that develops through the interaction of dissolved molecules with taste buds. Basic four modalities (tastes) are recognized, including sweet, salty, bitter, and sour. Taste is connected primarily with the tongue, although there are taste receptors on the palate and epiglottis as well.

Modalities of tastes are four basic types –

  • Sweet: At the tip of the tongue,
  • Salt: Dorsal surface of tongue anteriorly.
  • Sour: Along the edges of the tongue.
  • Bitter: Posterior part of the tongue (on circumvallate papillae)

All other ‘tastes’ such as chocolate, pepper, and coffee are actually odor. Each of the four taste is due to the different response of different chemicals.

Fig: Modalities of Taste

Substances cause Primary taste sensation:

  • Sweet: Organic substances (Glucose, sucrose, esters etc)
  • Salt: Ionized salt (NaCl, KCI etc)
  • Sour: By acid
  • Bitter: Quinine sulfate, an organic compound (Morphine, nicotine, caffeine) and Inorganic salt (Mg++, NH4+, Ca++).