Do You Confuse Taste With Flavor?

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e-liquidBeing that our electronic cigarettes are fueled by e-liquid and we rely on it just as much as we do the battery – another very prominent piece to the puzzle – we’re going to talk about taste and flavor.

We learn about taste in the early stages of life, and out of all of our 5 senses, you would think it was the easiest to understand. Many people believe taste is simple, but it’s far from it. In fact, out of the 5 senses we have, such as smell, hearing and such, scientists know less about the sense of taste.

While taste seems very simple as we use it in our everyday reference to foods and beverages, and now e-liquid, it’s often confused with flavor. To begin, taste is a chemical sense perceived by specialized receptor cells that make up taste buds. Flavor on the other hand, is a combination of multiple senses. To perceive flavor, the ­brain interprets taste, as well as smell. In fact, the brain will also factor in pain for something that is spicy. There are many things that can alter ones perception of flavor, such as visual appearance and even texture.

food coloringSome e-liquid manufacturers alter the color of e-liquid by using food coloring. By doing this, they have the ability to change the way your brain perceives the e-liquid’s flavor. By using a blue food coloring, your brain may perceive or assume that the e-liquid tastes like blueberries, but could actually taste like something totally different.

While one person may enjoy PinkSpotVapors Rip-Tide flavor, others may not. The reason for this is that each person may perceive the flavor in different ways. In an article in the Washington Post, there were five influences on how people taste food, which can be partially related to our e-liquid used for electronic cigarettes.

1. Genetics: People experience bitter flavors differently, as the combination of bitter receptor genes varies for each person. And almost everyone lacks the ability to detect at least one scent, meaning that the chemical that gives truffles their distinctive odor might strike you as either offensive or earthy. Or you might be among the 25% who can’t smell it at all.

2. Experience: Did you know babies are predisposed to liking the foods their mothers ate while they were pregnant and later while breastfeeding? Exposing children to a wide range of foods can start even before they’re born.

3. Culture: Not many people like extremely bitter or spicy foods the first time tasting them, but they can come to tolerate and even crave them with repeated exposure and by being around people who enjoy these foods.

4. Gender: Women are more likely to crave sweets and men are more likely to crave salty foods. This should come as no surprise if you’ve ever seen an advertisement for chocolate.

5. Texture: Although science cannot yet fully explain why, some people simply hate gritty, slimy or creamy foods, no matter their flavor. Case in point: natto, the slippery fermented soybeans pictured above.

Have you confused taste with flavor? The next time you go to tell someone that a certain e-liquid tastes disgusting, remember not to confuse taste – something you’ve gained from the perception of flavor – with flavor, something that the person will have to experience for themselves.

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