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Why can't we perceive taste when we have cold?

Date: 14 Apr 2011   Posted By: Ramakrishna Kambhampati     Group: Doctors    Category: General Medicine   

We can't perceive any taste when we have sever cold. Taste of Onions and Apples appears to be the same. Why?

Author: msw    17 Apr 2011      Member Level: Silver     Points : 2  (Rs 1)    Voting Score: 0

About 90% of what you perceive as taste actually comes through your sense of smell.
When you have cold, your sinuses are likely to be filled and the air with the aroma can't get past the sinus. This deprives you the sense of smell.
So most of your sense of taste is gone along with your sense of smell.
An onion, apple and potato all have the same taste. The differences in flavor are caused by their smell. Got it?

Author: Dr. Ajay George Akkara    21 Apr 2011      Member Level: Silver     Points : 2    Voting Score: 0

The sensation of taste is the sum total of smell of the substance, actual taste of the substance and feel of the substance in the mouth. This explains why a cold chapati doesn't taste as well as a hot chapathi.
When one suffers from cold there is congestion and hence obstruction of the nasal cavity. This prevents the odoriferous chemicals of food from access to the smell areas of nose. This lack of smell stimulus together with sight of food gets percieved by the body as lack of taste.

Author: ranushree caitali    21 Apr 2011      Member Level: Silver     Points : 2    Voting Score: 0

The way most people use "taste," to mean the sensations experienced when eating a food, smell is definitely a large portion of the experience. Both plays an important role in the experiencing of foods. When you have a cold, you tend to get a stuffed-up nose. When this happens, air stops flowing through your nose, which means that odour compounds cannot reach your sense of smell and it will not work. So, when you have a cold, your sense of smell stops working. Hence we can't perceive taste when we have cold.

Author: M.Bakshu    21 Apr 2011      Member Level: Gold     Points : 1    Voting Score: 0

When we have a cold, we get a stuffed nose, or inflamed sinus
passages. That makes it hard to smell anything. The taste of foods is mostly determined by the scent of it. Our tongue can decipher between 5 different types of taste, while our nose can
distinguish thousands of different smells.

Best Regards
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Author: Ramakrishna Kambhampati    22 Apr 2011      Member Level: Diamond     Points : 3  (Rs 1)    Voting Score: 0

The taste experienced by a particular food item by a person is due to the combined activity of the taste buds on the tongue and smell receptors present in the nose. Taste buds present on the tongue can help to provide four tastes like sweet, salty, sour and bitter. But the smell receptors present in our nose have the ability to detect indefinite number of odours. By simply changing the aroma of food we get a different taste for the same food item we eat. The candies the small children they eat will provide different tastes for them like strawberry, mango, pineapple etc; because the sugar candies are mixed with essence material which provide different aroma. When a person is affected by severe cold his sense of smell don't work and that what ever they eat they feel the same taste.

Author: Sayan Das    24 Apr 2011      Member Level: Gold     Points : 1    Voting Score: 0

Most of the sensation we consider to be taste of a food/drink is actually its smell. When we have a cold or more precisely a stuffy nose, we can't smell properly and our sense of taste is also affected.

Author: Dr.P.Ramachandran    24 Apr 2011      Member Level: Silver     Points : 1    Voting Score: 0

Their are numerous papilla on the surface of our tong. Papilla contain taste buds. During cols papillae are covered with mucous and so receptors in taste buds will not get stimuli. Moreover smell add to taste. As nose is also blocked with mucous food won't be tasty.

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