Humans can 'taste' carbon dioxide in fizzy drinks
The human tongue can taste the "flavour" of carbon dioxide in the bubbles of fizzy drinks, which may explain why flat Champagne is not so much fun as drinking it fresh from the bottle.
Scientists have found that taste receptors on the tongue which detect the flavour of sour food can also respond to the gases of carbonated or fermented drinks, which may explain why the bursting of Champagne bubbles on the tongue is so pleasurable.
Charles Zuker, a neuroscientist at Columbia University in New York, found that a class of taste-receptor cells in the tongue respond to carbon dioxide, and specifically identified an enzyme called carbonic anhydrase 4 in the detection of the gas. Previous research had concluded that the tingling sensation produced from fizzy drinks was due to the bursting of CO2 bubbles but the new research revealed that the way we taste may also be responsible.
The study, published in the journal Science, was carried out on laboratory mice genetically modified to lack sour-sensing taste cells. The scientists found that the mice also lacked the ability to detect carbon dioxide in carbonated water, but those that retained the sour-sensing cells showed a neurological response when drinking carbonated water.
The finding could explain why champagne, beer and other fizzy drinks taste flat and uninteresting when people are given acetazolamide, a prophylactic taken to avert altitude sickness. The drug is also known to inhibit the carbonic anhydrase 4 enzyme in the sourness taste receptors of the tongue.
Bosses of collapsed banks should be sent to jail, banking standards commission tells George Osborne
Feat of engineering: Incredible photographs show construction beneath New York's Second Avenue
Brazil kicks off: World Cup excess draws hundreds of thousands to street protests
World news in pictures
Google challenges US surveillance gagging order
- 1 Diary of Second World War German teenager reveals young lives untroubled by Nazi Holocaust in wartime Berlin
- 2 Breaking the Silence: In the reality of occupation, there are no Palestinian civilians – only potential terrorists
- 3 Uri Geller psychic spy? The spoon-bender's secret life as a Mossad and CIA agent revealed
- 4 Viral video straps colt .45 handgun to a home-use drone
- 5 Vice pulls 'breathtakingly tasteless' fashion shoot glorifying the suicides of famous female authors from Sylvia Plath to Virginia Woolf
Negotiable Depending on Experience: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green R...
£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...
Negotiable: Progressive Recruitment: Dear Sumadhab, A growing engineering comp...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Ilford: We are currently recruiting for a Year ...