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Read aloud Researchers have clarified why people like to combine savory foods with tart notes. So-called astringent substances counteract the taste impression of fat. So the senses are reset by a sip of red wine, as it were, to be tickled again at the next bite. The researchers report to Catherine Peyrot of Gachon from the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. Red wine leaves on the tongue a slightly furry feeling. Responsible for this are various ingredients that come from the grape skin, the cores and the wine barrels. Many foods contain such bitter or sour ingredients, such as mustard, tea and some vegetables. Scientists refer to these substances as astringent substances. Across all cultures, people combine fatty foods with these harsh tasting agents. This is no coincidence, emphasize the researchers from the United States. They have experimentally demonstrated what the chefs of the world have long known.

Laboratory menu: sausage and bitter drinks

For the study, Catherine Peyrot of the Gachon and her colleagues have prepared a special laboratory menu for a group of volunteers: three tart-tasting liquids containing either grape seed extract, a green tea substance, or aluminum sulfate. In addition there were greasy sausage slices. The control drink was pure water. The test participants either drank one of the liquids in many small sips and then ate sausage slices one by one, or they drank and ate alternately. Accompanying they were questioned about their sensory impressions.

Result: All three substances reduced the greasy taste impression, the subjects reported. In all astringent drinks, the tart feeling in the mouth increased with repeated sips. Likewise, the greasy sensation in the mouth increased with each bite when the subjects consumed only sausage. On the other hand, when they ate and drank alternately, both sensations became equal. The need to create a balance in the mouth could instinctively incite people to a balanced diet, scientists suggest. "How food feels in our mouths determines our dietary preferences, " says co-author Paul Breslin. For some foods, the tart and greasy flavors are already part of the package: nuts provide, for example, oils and at the same time astringents. "So you balance yourself?" Breslin says. display

Catherine Peyrot des Gachons (Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia) et al .: Current Biology, doi: 10.1016 / j.cub.2012.08.017 © science.de? Martin Vieweg

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