FOOLING OUR TASTE BUDS
Fooling our taste buds has created problems of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Scientists working on taste biology to make foods taste sweeter, saltier and heartier than they really are. We all love sweet and salty foods to get the proteins, electrolytes and energy we need.
Modulators are now added to foods to reduce the amount of sugar, salt, and MSG. Foods now have added designed bitterness blockers to make less palatable food taste better. Some molecules have no flavor of their own but when theyinteract with sweet receptors, the flavor perception is enhanced. Next year, sucrrolase will be made four times sweeter in this manner.
Sugar enhancers can make table sugar taste twice as sweet. Diet foods will taste better and calories will be cut. Foods are tasting heartier with savory enhancers. Nestle already uses savory enhancers in its potato chip snacks without lots of the MSG that is usually added to chips.
Bitter blockers are placed in cocoa and soy proteins to remove the bitter after taste. These blockers make food more palatable and also very important, affordable. Soy protein could feed the world if it was not bitter. Even medicine can be made to taste better.
Because the compounds are so minute, they can by pass FDA testing that is required for food additives. Flavorings have many supposedly innocuous chemicals used in very small amounts.
Low calorie sugar substitutes, aspartame, sucrolose, and saccharin, have bitter after tastes. Even diet sodas never taste like the real thing because of this bitter after taste that alters the brain,s perception. Using less of the sweetener avoids the activation of these bitter receptors. Zero Coke uses mixtures of sweetness with less volume and thus some of the bitter after taste is avoided.
BATTLE OF THE BULDGE
People only eat foods that have taste and texture. Fat lovers are faked out with fat alternatives. Yet this does not cure fat cravings as NutraSweet does not cure sugar cravings.
The food industry has for a long time been replacing fats and oils from foods with fat replacements and fat substitutes. They take out the real thing and fool your mouth into thinking you are getting a high fat treat. Yet there is almost no fat in these foods.
Everyday ingredients are combined in different ways to make you feel and taste like fat is in the food. The dairy products are acidified, heated, and blended, to resemble fat. They have fewer calories and at least don’t clog the arteries.
Two fat replacement chemicals are approved by the FDA: Polydextrose and maltodextrin.
Polydextrose is a starch polymer used in frozen puddings and cake frostings. It has one calorie per gram instead of 9 calories per gram from fat.
Maltodexrtrin is a modified starch that replaces fat in margarines and salad dressings. It has 4 calories per gram.
Unlike fat replacements, fat substitutes have a single unique ingredient which has a blend of different ingredients. It has fewer calories than a fat replacement.
Simplese is a processed protein made by heating and blending milk or egg whites into very tiny particles. The tongue is faked out in sensing a creamy sensation. It tastes like cooked eggs with milk.
Will you eat lower carbohydrate foods that are tastier and healthier? One might eat lots of sweet food that has nothing to do with taste.
The bottom line is that food makers can save lot of money by putting small amounts of cheap compounds in foods and replace many of the other ingredients. The industry might even get us to eat what is good for us because it now can taste good.
All of us have different flavor preferences. But how do these chemicals affect digestion, metabolism and appetite? Will these chemicals allow the body to control its eating behavior? And above all, are all these non-food chemicals safe for us in the long run. The body can’t metabolize chemicals as it can food. How then are the chemicals excreted? Will our livers and kidneys survive all this extra work? Only time will tell?