A key evolutionary need is to be able to sense and respond to taste: for example, if a food is bitter, we have sensors in our mouth to recognise the bitter taste and ensure we do not keep consuming a potentially harmful substance. Alternatively, if a food is sweet, another set of sensors in our mouth will recognise this taste and promote neural signals to encourage us to eat food which is potentially sugary and therefore high in energy. In recent years, scientists have identified these taste sensors in other tissues in the body, not related to the mouth which raises the question – why and how do our tissues ‘taste’?
Dr Havi Chichger, Associate Professor, Anglia Ruskin University, will delve into the weird and wonderful locations in the body which can taste and consider how and why these tissues and organs sense taste. She will also discuss what this means in relation to our diet and health.