Study of basic taste recognition among the tourism and catering management students of the Budapest Business School

Monday, June 18, 2018

Authors: Zsófia Fekete-Frojimovics, Beatrix Lenkovics, Kinga Magyarné Horváth, Tímea Jakuschné Kocsis, Andrea Lugasi


1.     Summary


The role of sensory analyses in the food industry and in gastronomy has increased significantly in the last decade. The regulation of both quality and certification is of paramount importance in this area as well.

In this paper presenting our series of analyses, we endeavored to find out to what extent tourism and catering management students are able to recognize the four basic tastes (sweet, salty, sour, bitter) when using all of their senses, and whether their abilities are affected by the exclusion of sight and smell.

In the first part of the study, tasters could use all their sense organs. In this case, sweet and salty tastes were properly recognized by more than 75% of the students. However, sour and bitter tastes were correctly identified by only 30% of the students, many mixed them up, and a quarter of the students did not even attempt to identify the taste. In terms of sensing sweet, salty and sour tastes, there was no difference between men and women, but the bitter taste was properly identified by more than 40% of men, and only 30% of women.

False identification of bitter and sour tastes to such a large extent can be explained by significant consumption of coffee, tea or cigarettes, or by an inappropriate diet [7]. During smoking, substances in the tobacco smoke can greatly impair the functioning of taste buds. Consumption of energy drinks and tea can also add to the flavor reducing effect of coffee and cigarettes, so these factors together could be responsible for the large number of false identification of the bitter taste.


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