By Joel Hillan
DENVER (CBS4) – Starting Nov. 20, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is going to be looking for volunteers, especially families, to put their taste buds to the test.
It’s part of a new study to figure out what our tongue tells us when we eat certain foods… and why. It looks at how a sour taste affects the taste of savory foods.
“Everyone eats. Taste was a natural choice for us to study,” said Doctor Nicole Garneau who runs the Genetics of Taste Lab in Expedition Health at the museum.
The study takes individuals ages 8 years and older and has them experience sour and savory tastes. The study involves a DNA swab, plugging your nose and tasting what is in the cup.
The participants tested “savory” cups.
“It kind of reminds me of Pho or some sort of Vietnamese food,” said Christina Roberts who participated in the study with me today.
Shelsea Ochoa described it more like Top Ramen. “I don’t eat a lot of meat. I’m pretty much a vegetarian, so, I didn’t think I was going to like the taste, but I thought it was really good.”
“Even though we have this really fun experience the more basic information we can learn about how humans work the better we can design things and foods that are healthier for people but still taste good,” said Dr. Garneau.
After participants taste sour and savory flavors, they then taste cups with a mix of the two and rate their experience.
During the testing, you will also learn about why your genetics could be altering your taste experiences.
The study needs 2,500 volunteers and will run through August.
It’s funded by a grant from the National Institute of Health.