Chemistry In The Olfactory System

1159 Words 5 Pages
The olfactory system, the sensory system contributing to the sense of smell, is often overlooked by the average person causing distortion as to how it functions, coupled with the gustatory system, to differentiate the different flavors in food which in turn allows us to classify food as delicious, good, unpleasant, or disgusting. In the other hand, the same can’t be said for the food industry, who spent numerous resources into understanding this specific sensory systems with the aim of engineering food that is to crave for with the intention of maximizing their profits. The ability for humans to identify flavors is caused by the signals sent to the brain by different receptors in the mouth and nose that interpret chemicals found within the …show more content…
However, the science involving food in very extensive and it ranges many fields of science such as: biology, physics, biochemistry, microbiology, nutrition, and engineering. Despite, all this fields attributing to the science behind the food we eat, chemistry is by far the field that is most often used by scientist in the food industry. One of the specific branches of chemistry used is flavor chemistry which is the science of using chemistry and engineering in order to re-create and/or intensity flavors found in food. Flavor scientist are able to do this by using material that are safe to consume such as botanical extracts, essences, essential oils, and flavor aromas. To put into simple terms, a flavor chemist can use a blend of different chemicals in order to fool the olfactory and gustatory system into believing that it is tasting the natural flavor of a certain food. Yet, in reality it is tasting a complete or partial mixture of different components that make up the natural ingredient found in a certain food. For example, vanilla is the most widespread flavored globally as well as being often used in baked goods, ice cream, and candy. It is composed of as many as two hundred fifty taste and aromas. But, most of this components are destroyed when exposed to high temperatures. Moreover, the demand of vanilla beans of over …show more content…
It has also been a big contributor to the obesity epidemic. This is because many, if not all, of the giants in the food industry are using salt, sugar, and fat as the three main ingredients to make food literally irresistible. This has be done by researching how each of these three ingredients stimulate the brain through the olfactory and gustatory systems. This research made it achievable for food to have an ideal “moth feel”. Also, to have a “bliss point” which is the point when the levels of these primary ingredients make food addictive. This causes customers to not being able to stop consuming the products and build a dependence on them. Consequently, there is an unprecedented epidemic of obesity currently happening. In fact, in just 28 years, obesity nearly tripled in all age groups under 18 years old. This puts children at the rinks of suffering from numerous health problems and diseases such as: diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, and disability. As Dr. David S. Ludwig said “Obesity is such that this generation of children could be the first basically in history of the United States to live less healthful and shorter lives than their parents.” The excuse for the food industry is that their survival relies on them putting these ingredients in their food. In order to stay competitive, they rely on these ingredients since they are cheaper than healthier

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