Science in the Kitchen: What Juice is It?

Excited students


  1. Small cups
  2. Apple Juice
  3. Pear juice


Do you guys know how we taste food? Yes, with our tongue. In our tongues, there are many receptors that let your brain know if what you are tasting is sweet, salty or sour. This information travels from your tongue to your brain with the help of neurons. But did you know smell is also important for you to taste your food? When your tongue touches the food, the molecules in the food get attach to the receptors and tell your brain what you are eating. But, when your nose smells the food it is actually smelling compounds that are in the air around the food. They reach your nose and the receptors then tell your brain what you are eating. When your sense of taste and smell are working together your sense of taste is magnified. But don’t take my word for it, let’s do a simple experiment!

We are going to place two cups in front of you, they each will have a different juice. Then I’m going to ask you to taste juice A and juice B but with your nose plugged. Then I’m going to ask you to taste them again but with your nose unplugged. What do you think will happen? Write your hypothesis in your notebooks and let’s get tasting!

Now, plug your noses and taste juice A. Write in your notebook what flavor you think it is. Keep those noses plugged! Now taste juice B and write what flavor you think it is. Now do the same but this time with your noses unplugged. Write what you think the flavors are.  Now tell me, what flavor is juice A? What flavor is juice B? Was it easier to figure out the flavor with your nose plugged or unplugged?


View/Download the instructor’s PDF: Science in the Kitchen

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