Taste and diet

Taste is an incredible but varied thing. In fact, taste changes depending on the habitat of creatures. For example animals who live in rain-forests may not be as sensitive to sucrose or glucose containing compounds as the animals who live in the savanna (because the rain-forest species eats glucose enriched fruit on a daily basis whilst the savanna species doesn’t). This can be true of humans too and it turns out that we are particularly sensitive to “monellin” which is a protein present in the berries of an African shrub. “Monellin” is incredibly more sweet than glucose therefore can be used as an artificial sweetener.

In the book “Molecular Gastronomy” by Herve This, I read that the “Colobus” monkey varies its diet by eating soil and old leaves–> this is not just monkey gone mad but an example of how animals can change their diet to suit their bodily needs. This mud and dry leaves diet contains polyphenol molecules and also “Tannins” which inhibit the digestion of proteins!


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