Trust Your Taste Buds

By E.M. Burton and Steve Gillanders

In Nutrition

July 02, 2014

PDF Article

Want to know if your favorite fruits and veggies are packing more nutritional bang for your buck?

You already have a way to tell: your palate. Over 10,000 taste buds in your mouth are each equipped with 100 to 150 taste cells that send messages to your brain about the chemicals in your food as they dissolve in saliva. But can you tell if a food is more nutritious by tasting it?

Using 10 different navel oranges, from organic and non-organic growers and a variety of grocery stores and farmers’ markets, we took samples to measure the degrees Brix in the juice of each fruit with a hand-held refractometer, commonly available for about US$25.

According to the Refractive Index of Crop Juices, oranges score roughly within the following Brix values: poor (6), average (10), good (16) and excellent (20). Offering 19 CrossFit Inc. employees four different orange samples, we asked them to assign a measure of quality for each sample—poor, average, good or excellent—by focusing on “superior taste.”

Our testers were able to distinguish the higher-Brix oranges because the values corresponded with better taste. To put it simply, the more nutrient-dense oranges had superior taste.

Save the refractometer for the vineyard; you can trust your taste buds in the produce aisle.

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4 Comments on “Trust Your Taste Buds”

1

wrote …

Brix degrees are a mesurement of sugar content, not nutrient-density. This just shows that people prefer more sugar in their oranges

2

wrote …

"Despite a lack of hard scientific evidence
to support Brix measurement, a great deal
of anecdotal evidence exists from over a
century of use—enough to strongly suggest
a relationship between high Brix values and
nutrient density. "

So what exactly is the point of this article? So is pseudo science the new fad now in Crossfit? Just because it's measurable and repeatable doesn't make it science.

Of course people prefer sweeter fruit. You're evolutionarily predisposed to liking things that have sugar because it's an important and relatively scarce macro-nutrient evolutionarily speaking... What a bunch of garbage. I guess HQ is hard up for writers. Yes, if you're thinking this, I am trolling! Get your writers better projects, you're doing them a disservice.

3

wrote …

My palate tells me organic produce has better taste. But science has yet to support the notion that better taste equals higher nutrient density.

http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2012/09/little-evidence-of-health-benefits-from-organic-foods-study-finds.html

4

wrote …

It is also important to note that human taste and palate does not change based on nutrient need. i.e. If you are iron defiant, foods that are a higher source of iron do not taste better to you based on their iron content. That assertion has already been proven false for many decades now.

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