Tag Archives: taste

How Pepsi Found Itself in the Middle of the Bioethics Debate

Abortion, being the divisive and highly emotional issue that it is, unfortunately makes people jump quickly to conclusions, and in some cases snap decisions. A perfect example of how emotions make us leap before we look occurred when in early 2023, Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey hastily proposed a bill that would ban food “which contains aborted human fetuses in the ingredients.”

Shortey decided to take action after he reportedly heard news through the pro life group Children of God for Life that Pepsi and others were partnering with a company called Synomyx that was using stem cells in researching taste substitutes for sugar. The Internet, and it appears the senator from Oklahoma, got caught up in this to the point where people started believing that fetal tissue was actually ending up in the foods we eat.

Stem cell research

While Shortey played damage control by saying he didn’t think human fetuses were in our foods, it’s hard to dispute what he hurriedly tried to pass into law.

Stem Cells for Taste Testing?

Senomyx has isolated receptors on cells that detect taste, then added them to HEK293 cells, the stem cell line in question. The company can then test countless additives to see which get the desired taste response much more quickly and efficiently than using people in studies. (more…)

Guiltlessly Indulge in Your Senses

Our bodies respond to sensory input and enable us to experience enticing, sensual pleasure that can sometimes be hard to resist. If this brings up an image from a page in the Kama Sutra, fear not. Enjoying your senses is neither just about sex, nor does it require a lover.

The following are a few examples of how you can indulge in your senses so you may experience gratifying and unbelievable pleasure without feeling guilty. Because we all interpret our senses differently, experiences may vary from person to person.

Sense of Sound

One single sound can affect our mood and create a visceral reaction that reverberates through our bodies. For those who are hearing impaired, it is possible to feel sound. Sensing the vibration of your own heartbeat or feeling the rumbling tremors of a thunderstorm are ways you can enjoy the tingling pleasures of sound within your body.


Smell: The Hidden Link to Weight Loss

sensaOf the five senses, the one that you’d think directly affects how much you weigh is taste, with smell in a close second. But according to the makers of Sensa, smell is even more important than you think. Sensa is a seasoning weight-loss product that not only makes your food tastier, but gives it a scent that is appealing and makes you less hungry.

Sensa’s makers say that their product stimulates the olfactory bulb, which is the organ that transmits smell from the nose to the brain to signal that you are full.

“Eighty percent of what you perceive as taste is actually smell,” said Christopher Adams, a molecular biologist and the founder of Compellis Pharmaceuticals. (more…)

Your ‘Mystery’ Taste Receptor

Can you name the five human taste receptors? Most of us think of sweet, sour, salty… from there maybe some of us will remember bitter. But I bet you wouldn’t have guessed umami.

Umami is a Japanese word meaning “savory.” It’s attributed to responding to the taste of meats and cheeses. I dug up an audio piece that examines the history of umami and the controversy over whether it exists at all.

But wait, there may be more! (more…)