Do you like ice cream? Do you prefer orange to apple? How about hamburgers and French fries? We like to eat some of these things because of their taste. Our tongue helps us to taste food.
The tongue is the organ of taste. Do you examined your tongue. Do you know how it looks? Do you know their parts?
The top part of the tongue is smooth. It has bumps called papillae. Inside the papillae are taste buds. The taste buds contain receptor cells. They send signal information about taste to the brain. The bottom part of the tongue has no papillae. It is purple in color because of the blood vessels in it.
When you take in food, the taste buds stimulate the nerves that send signals to the brain. Then the brain interprets the taste of the food you taste. It may be sour, sweet, bitter, or salty. These are the four basic taste sensations. The drawing shows where each particular taste is detected.
Sweet taste can be tasted at the tip of the tongue. Salty tastes are tasted at the sides near the tip. At the sides near the back is sour taste. Bitter taste can be tasted at the back side of the tongue.