Food Taste is Influenced by Saliva


women eatingTaste of each person is different although they eat the same food. For some tastes good but not for others. It turned out that taste is not from the food but the saliva decides it.

In saliva there is an enzyme that is responsible to assess whether the food is good or not. The perception of each person whether the texture is soft, sandy or crunchy is on the amilase saliva.

Recent research from the Monell Center reported that the perception of each person against the texture of the starch consumed was formed by the variability of oral enzyme activity, known as amilase saliva.

In a study reported in the PLoS ONE journal, changes in consistency of starch in the mouth is directly related to amilase saliva activity.

Differences in perceptions of starch flavor is what affects a person to like a certain food. This is because people just want to eat foods they like or have a texture that fits with their tongue.

Starch foods such as wheat, potatoes, corn and rice is the main component of the food consumed by most people, as well as a source of calories by 40-60 percent.

Amylase enzyme released in saliva helps break down starch into simple sugar molecules, so that these molecules will be absorbed into the bloodstream that can affect blood glucose levels.

The study also showed that the enzyme activity of samilase saliva is also influenced by genetic factors.

“Overall this means that foods with different starch content will be perceived very differently by someone. In addition, it also depends on how much amilase saliva they produce,” said Paul AS Breslin, sensory geneticist, according to ScienceDaily.

Previous studies have shown that a person can have 2-15 copies of AMY1, the gene coding for amilase saliva. Therefore everyone could have different gene.

Further study will be conducted to determine the relationship between AMY1 gene copy number with a liking for certain foods containing starch.