Using Your Senses

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In Biology we were studying how each of our senses worked.  We examined the eye, ear, nose and our sense of taste.  The question came up, if you were not able to see or smell food would you be able to identify the food by taste through your taste buds?  So using the scientific method, we stated our problem:  How much does the sight and smell of food affect the taste of food thereby allowing us to identify the foods we eat.  Our hypothesis was:  We believe that you will not be able to identify foods simply by using the taste buds.  It takes both the sight and the smell of food to trigger a taste response there by allowing us to identify the foods we eat.  Next, we set up an experiment:  Using three dry ingredients:  Vanilla coffee creamer, salt, and baking soda and three wet ingredients:  vinegar, imitation vanilla extract, and cornstarch as our foods to identify.  Then, I had the volunteers to put a clip on their nose and I blindfolded them.  I then preceded to give them a sampling of each food randomly and asked them to identify what it was and to describe what it tasted like to them.  We recorded the results and formed our conclusion.  We found that some could correctly identify the food, mostly be texture rather than actual taste.  However, the majority could not, but they did have some sense of taste, such as sweet versus bitter, etc. Consequently, our hypothesis was partially correct.  What a fun way to put the scientific method to practice while using our senses!

~Rebecca Long

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