SEPTEMBER 15, 2016 | The Jewish Home
ward to creating lots more deliciously tasting chocolate for years to come.” That’s certainly putting your money where your mouth is.
suggests that we may be able to taste yet another taste, starchiness, which may just help us understand why pizza and pasta are so universally loved.
Zero Second Rule
You hear it around the playground at recess numerous times. “Pick it up! Pick it up! Oh, it’s still good – five second rule.” Who made up this “rule” that schoolchildren follow so ardently? Perhaps it was composed by a child who was sad about his fallen lollypop and scooped down for a lick. Now, though, children should reconsider their dropped delicacies. According to researchers at Rutgers University, contamination from bacteria onto food that fell on the floor can happen instantaneously. Researcher Donald Schaffner pointed out that the five-second rule is a “significant oversimplification of what actually happens when bacteria transfer from a surface to food.” Time, though, does matter. The longer the food is in contact with the floor – or another dirty surface – the more bacterial transfer. Additionally, the type of food and its surface is also a factor. The Rutgers researchers tested watermelon, bread, bread and butter, and gummy candy on stainless steel, ceramic tile, wood and carpet. They found that watermelon had the most contamination, and that transfer of bacteria is affected most by moisture. Apparently they didn’t take tantrums into account when conducting their research.
Juyun Lim, associate professor at Oregon State University’s Department of Food Science and Technology and lead author of the study, said that it’s not so surprising about our sense of starchiness since we are so dependent on carbohydrates as a key source for energy. Dr. Robert Margolskee clarified that the sense of starchiness is probably “just another version of sweet taste.” Another study, also interested in pursuing a “sixth sense” for our tongues that was published last year, made the case that we have another taste that can detect fat. “There are several other candidates for the sixth taste, including calcium, fat, carbon dioxide and even water,” said Gary Beauchamp, a biologist and emeritus director and president of the Monell Chemical Senses Center, who was not involved in the new study. “In my mind, none of them have the perceptual salience of the main four – now five – sweet, sour, salty and bitter, and the recently recognized umami, which is a bit more subtle than the traditional four but still distinctive,” he said. Hey, all I know is that it tastes good.
The “Toylet” Project
A Sixth Sense Our tongue is a powerful organ and can detect five basic tastes: sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness and “umami,” or savory. Wait, did you forget the sixth? A recent study published in Chemical Senses last month
The toilet is their oyster. I don’t know much about oysters – being that I don’t eat them – but now New York is turning toilets into some
Five Towns Jewish Home - 9-15-16