Clips from Operation Ouch! We take a closer look at your tongue and how your taste buds work.
Browse content similar to Good Taste. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Are you ready for our Ouch! Snips?
Well, it may look pretty hairy,
but it's actually from your tongue!
Take a look at this.
This is an MRI
scan of my tongue as I'm speaking,
and you can see it's pretty huge.
But speaking isn't the only thing
you need your tongue for.
One of the best things it does
is help you taste.
Your tongue is covered in small
as I'm going to show you. Right,
Xand, open your mouth nice and wide.
Eurgh! Not hair like that!
I said hairlike projections!
You can't see them
with your naked eye.
Take another look at this super
close-up of your tongue.
This red blob is called the papilla.
Your taste buds sit on the side
of it, and they contain tiny
hairlike projections called
microvilli to help you taste.
And if you look at your tongue, the
bumps you can see are the papillae.
And the more papillae you
have on your tongue,
the more taste buds you have and the
more sensitive to taste you are.
And you have more of them than we
Because we're doctors!
Because we're adults!
We have around 5,000 covering
our tongues, but you have 10,000.
That's twice as many.
And to prove it, Chris,
I've brought in a sample.
This sample is nine years old.
This isn't a sample. It's a child!
Anyway, the point is, we're going to
compare Chris' papillae with
the sample's, but first I need to
cover your tongues in blue food dye.
The blue dye will show up all the
And now, the sample.
I have a name, you know, and it's
A very noisy sample!
Give me your tongue!
Nice blue tongue, Hermione!
Xand is putting a glass
slide on both our tongues to make it
easier to count the papillae.
Chris' papillae are those little
pale dots right there.
And these are Hermione's.
You can see that there's way
more on her tongue,
and that means more taste buds.
Good job, Hermione!
As we get older,
your taste buds deteriorate
and they aren't replaced, which is
why you will be much more
sensitive to strong flavours
like garlic than your mum or dad.
There are certain things,
though, like a cold,
that can play havoc with
everybody's sense of taste.
But why would having a bunged-up
nose affect your taste?
Well, we're going to show you.
Xand, meet Mr Bigmouth.
You've cut him in half!
Now, when you eat food,
odour molecules are released
and swirl around your mouth,
but also right up into this.
This is the passage that
connects your mouth to your nose.
And right up here,
at the back of your nose,
are lots of sensors called olfactory
receptors, which sense and identify
different odour or smell molecules
and tell your brain what it is
So, to show you this, we're going to
use an equally oversized bit of kit.
The smell molecule blower thingy.
Also, we'll need our
and these polystyrene balls
those smell or odour molecules.
Three, two, one... Blow!
The smell molecules in food are
released naturally as you chew.
Wow! That worked really well!
You can see how the smell
molecules race through
the back of the mouth and up
the tube connecting it to the nose
and right onto the olfactory
receptors, which instantly
recognise the smell and tell
your brain what you're tasting.
And your olfactory receptors can
also protect you
because they can tell if something
is bad before you eat it.
As soon as they whiff
something like off milk,
they alert your brain
so you know not to eat it.
But, Xand, what would happen
if Mr Bigmouth got a cold?
That would be disgusting!
We're going to need a lot of snot!
We're smearing our snot inside
the passages of our giant mouth
just like when you have a cold.
Let's see what happens now that
Mr Bigmouth has got a big cold.
Look. This time, the odour molecules
are getting stuck in the snot.
They aren't getting anywhere
near the olfactory receptors,
and that means no taste.
Yeah, Mr Bignose wouldn't be able to
taste anything at all.
Except for that one tiny
So we've shown you that,
like Hermione's tongue,
you've got twice the number
of taste buds as us,
or your mum and dad, or any adult.
But as good as your tongue is,
you also need your nose
if you really want to savour
See you next time! Bye!