Deakin University research suggests that fat does, in fact, have a particular taste. However, unlike the tastes we’re all familiar with, like sweet, sour and salty, the fat taste “is a taste without an identifiable quality”, according to Professor Russell Keast of the Centre of Advanced Sensory Science at Deakin.
Instead, fat elicits a particular sensation on the tongue, which makes it detectable when compared to food without fatty acids.
The findings could have important implications for stemming the growing global problem of obesity. Acknowledging that fat has a distinct taste forces us to rethink how we look at fat. It suggests that there may be a way that can create lower fat foods that give us the same mouth feel and flavour as full-fat foods, but without the negative effects of the fat itself.
Previous research by the group has already found that those with fat taste sensitivity eat less, which could also provide a helpful hint for tackling the growing obesity problem.
Deakin’s research is published in Flavour Journal titled ‘Is fat the 6th taste primary. Evidence and implication‘ (CCA2.0)