Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 10

Practical 1

Measurement of Sensory Thresholds


Introduction
According to the dictionary, sensory threshold can be referred as the point at which
increasing stimuli trigger the start of an afferent nerve impulse. An absolute threshold
occurs at the lowest point that response to a stimulus that can be perceived
(TheFreeDictionary.com, 2015). To put it in a simple way, sensory threshold means at
one lowest point of stimulus for any sensory receptor to give rise to a sensation.
According to Lawless and Heymann (2010), they stated that threshold can be defined
as a concentration range exists below the taste or odour of a substance that cannot be
detect under any circumstances, and above which individual with normal sense of
taste and smell could detect the presence of substance. We, human have 5to 6 parts on
tongue which can be used to detect and differentiate sweet, sour, bitter, salty, fatty,
and umami which is the new sense on monosodium glutamate (MSG). Sensitivity of
taste could be affected by few factors, such as age, smoking, viscosity of substance,
and temperature (Walker, 2005). Then, the sense of smell is also very complex as it
could be affected by interaction with other senses including taste and vision. Thus,
throughout this experiment, we were to determine the importance of smell in testing
taste, to see whether it is affecting the sense of taste or not when the sense of odour is
absence.
Methods and Materials:
Apparatus and equipment

Disposable Styrofoam cups


Measuring cylinders
Small plastic drinking cups
Trays
Labels
Pencils
Stirring rods
Serviettes

Materials

Sucrose
Sodium chloride

Citric acid
Caffeine
Deionized water
Score sheet for Test your taste and Test intensity

Methods:
Part A
1. Two sets of samples were prepared to all 20 candidates by following the table
below.
Sample
Descriptor
15.0% sucrose in deionized water
Sweet
0.35% sodium chloride in deionized water
Salty
0.15% citric acid in deionized water
Sour
0.20% caffeine in deionized water
Bitter
2. The experimental design was prepared and the panel size, sample
presentations and balanced serving order were taken into consideration.
3. The disposable Styrofoam cups were labeled with coded numbers prepared
above and approximately 3ml of the samples were poured into the serving
containers respectively.
4. The coded samples were placed randomly on the tray from left to right.
5. The samples were served together with the score sheet.
6. The first set was tasted by the candidates from left to right while holding their
nose and the related descriptors best describe the samples were stated.
7. The candidates were allowed to rest between samples and distilled water was
used to rinse their mouth prior and after tasting a sample.
8. The second set was tasted by the candidates from left to right without holding
their nose and the related descriptors best describe the samples were stated.
Part B
1. The samples were prepared for 20 candidates by following the table below.
Set
1

Attributes
Sweetness

Sourness

Bitterness

References
2.0% sucrose in deionized water
5.0% sucrose in deionized water
10.0% sucrose in deionized water
15.0% sucrose in deionized water
0.05% citric acid in deionized water
0.08% citric acid in deionized water
0.15% citric acid in deionized water
0.20% citric acid in deionized waater
0.05% caffeine in deionized water
0.08% caffeine in deionized water

0.15% caffeine in deionized water


0.20% caffeine in deionized water
2. Experimental design was prepared and panel size, sample presentations and
balanced serving order were taken into consideration.
3. The disposable Styrofoam cups were labeled with the coded numbers prepared
above and approximately 6ml samples were poured into serving containers
respectively.
4. The coded samples were placed on tray from left to right.
5. The samples were served to the candidates with the score sheet.
6. The four samples in the same set were tasted by the candidates, one set at a
time. The difference(s) between the samples were detected and ranked.
7. The candidates were allowed to rest after each set.
Results
METHOD A
-

Coded samples tasted while holding your nose.

Name

Sample Code
117

336

598

674

Lim Siu Hui

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Wahid Bin Quayum

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Chao Zhi Hao

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Tan Wee Ching

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Cassandra Chua Jia Yin

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Mak Kit Teng

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Joanna Tai

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Tasteless

Chong Yee Sin

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Sabrina Ng Swee Chin

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Liem Yun Yi

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Yip Li Hui

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Tasteless

Lee Shi Min

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Mah Kuan Huei

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Yap Siew Chen

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Lau Yi Lian

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Low Shen Yeong

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Jasmine Teoh Ser Jye

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Nai Jun Qin

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Lim Yen Ting

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Marco Lee Gong Xing

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Coded samples tasted without holding your nose.

Name

Sample Code
557

119

426

537

Lim Siu Hui

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Wahid Bin Quayum

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Chao Zhi Hao

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Tan Wee Ching

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Cassandra Chua Jia Yin

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Mak Kit Teng

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Joanna Tai

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Tasteless

Chong Yee Sin

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Sabrina Ng Swee Chin

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Liem Yun Yi

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Yip Li Hui

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Lee Shi Min

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Mah Kuan Huei

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Yap Siew Chen

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Lau Yi Lian

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Low Shen Yeong

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Jasmine Teoh Ser Jye

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Nai Jun Qin

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Lim Yen Ting

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

Marco Lee Gong Xing

Sweet

Salty

Sour

Bitter

METHOD B
Name

Lim Siu Hui

Sample code
Set 1

Set 2

687

468

698

228

235

117

444

543

959

791

789

423

235

698

228

468

423

444

543

117

791

789

959

235

698

228

543

117

444

468

959

Least sweet/sour/bitter

791

789

423

Most sweet/sour/bitter

687

235

698

228

468

423

444

543

959

Least sweet/sour/bitter

791

789

117

Most sweet/sour/bitter

687

235

698

Most sweet/sour/bitter

Least sweet/sour/bitter
Wahid Bin Quayum

Most sweet/sour/bitter

Least sweet/sour/bitter
Chao Zhi Hao

Tan Wee Ching

Cassandra Chua Jia Yin

Most sweet/sour/bitter

687

687

Set 3

Mak Kit Teng

Joanna Tai

Chong Yee Sin

Sabrina Ng Swee Chin

Liem Yun Yi

Yip Li Hui

228

468

423

444

543

959

Least sweet/sour/bitter

791

789

117

Most sweet/sour/bitter

687

235

117

228

468

423

444

543

698

Least sweet/sour/bitter

791

789

459

Most sweet/sour/bitter

687

235

117

444

789

423

228

468

698

Least sweet/sour/bitter

791

543

459

Most sweet/sour/bitter

228

235

117

687

468

423

444

543

698

Least sweet/sour/bitter

791

789

959

Most sweet/sour/bitter

687

235

423

228

468

117

444

543

959

Least sweet/sour/bitter

791

789

698

Most sweet/sour/bitter

687

235

117

228

468

423

444

543

698

Least sweet/sour/bitter

791

789

959

Most sweet/sour/bitter

687

235

117

228

468

698

444

543

959

791

789

423

Least sweet/sour/bitter

Lee Shi Min

Mah Kuan Huei

Yap Siew Chen

Lau Yi Lian

Most sweet/sour/bitter

687

235

959

228

468

698

444

543

423

Least sweet/sour/bitter

791

789

117

Most sweet/sour/bitter

687

468

423

228

543

117

444

235

959

Least sweet/sour/bitter

791

789

698

Most sweet/sour/bitter

687

235

698

228

468

117

444

543

423

Least sweet/sour/bitter

791

789

959

Most sweet/sour/bitter

687

235

423

228

Low Shen Yeong

Jasmine Teoh Ser Jye

Nai Jun Qin

468

117

444

543

789

Least sweet/sour/bitter

791

789

698

Most sweet/sour/bitter

687

235

423

228

468

117

444

543

698

Least sweet/sour/bitter

791

789

959

Most sweet/sour/bitter

228

235

117

687

468

423

444

543

698

Least sweet/sour/bitter

791

789

959

Most sweet/sour/bitter

687

235

423

228

468

698

444

543

117

Lim Yen Ting

Marco Lee Gong Xing

Least sweet/sour/bitter

791

789

959

Most sweet/sour/bitter

687

235

117

228

468

423

444

543

698

Least sweet/sour/bitter

791

789

959

Most sweet/sour/bitter

687

235

423

228

468

117

444

789

698

791

543

959

Least sweet/sour/bitter

Discussion
In the experiment using method A, whereby 20 subjects were tested with 4 samples
while holding their nose, it is concluded that 100% of the subjects tasted the correct
taste when they are given 15% sucrose (sweet), 0.35% sodium chloride (salty) and
0.15% citric acid (sour). However, for sample containing 0.20% caffeine, 10% (2
subjects) felt that it was tasteless instead of bitter. The results showed that smell plays
an important role in manifesting the taste. Smell is also said to hit faster than taste. A
single cell runs from the olfactory mucosa in the nose to the olfactory bulb in the
brain. When the nose is held while tasting samples, air stops flowing pass the
olfactory receptors in the nose. Thus, odour compounds remained trapped in the
mouth and cannot be interpreted by the brain, causing sense of smell to stop working.
Sense of taste, which is stimulated by taste receptors cells are usually unaffected
(Dwb.unl.edu 2015). However, the flavour of foods and beverages might be altered in
different individuals. When subjects are not required to hold their noses, 100% of the
subjects tasted the correct taste when they are given the same samples. Only 1 subject

could not taste the bitter taste when given 0.20% caffeine. This might be due to error
present during the preparation of samples.
On the other hand, in the experiment carried out using method B, 20 subjects were
asked to determine the intensity of attributes given in different samples. 3 subjects
could not differentiate the different intensity of sweetness, 5 subjects could not
interpret the intensities of sourness and 13 subjects interpreted the intensities of
bitterness incorrectly. The results showed that the intensities of sweetness could be
perceived more accurately compared to sourness and bitterness. Subjects who are
more sensitive towards the intensities of taste may have denser fungiform papillae
(Reed et al. 2006). From studies carried out, different tastes also have different
thresholds at which they can be detected. Bitterness usually has a lower threshold,
follow up by sourness and sweetness. However, taste thresholds vary between
individuals (Buddies 2015). People are usually more sensitive towards bitterness,
which will help them to detect potentially dangerous substances at much lower
concentration (Purves et al. 2001). In contrast with the theory, from the results
collected, it is shown that bitterness has a higher threshold compared to sourness
follow up by sweetness, with the lowest threshold. This might be due to gustatory
sensitivity that declines with age. Adults tend to consume more salt and spices
compared to children. The decrease in sensitivity might also be problematic for older
adults with electrolyte imbalance (Purves et al. 2001). Additionally, there might be
errors due to coding by the people who conducted the QDA session, which lead to the
inaccuracy of the results obtained.
Conclusion
Smell plays a significant role in testing taste as it allows air to flow through the
olfactory receptors and odour compounds to be interpreted by the brain. However, the
ability of detecting difference of intensity in taste varies among individuals. It may
also be due to several factors such as aging, ethnicity, gender and medications.
Theoretically, bitterness has a higher threshold compared to sourness and sweetness.

Reference

1. Buddies, S., 2015. Sensory Science: Testing Taste Thresholds [online].


Scientificamerican.com.

Available

from:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bring-science-home-taste-thresholds/
[Accessed 13 Sep 2015].
2. Dwb.unl.edu, 2015. Taste

And

Smell

[online].

Available

from:

http://dwb.unl.edu/teacher/nsf/C10/C10Links/ericir.syr.edu/Projects/Newton/11/tst
esmll.html [Accessed 13 Sep 2015].
3. Lawless, H. and Heymann, H. (2010). Sensory evaluation of food. New York:
Springer.
4. Purves, D., Augustine, G., Fitzpatrick, D., Katz, L., LaMantia, A., McNamara, J.
and Williams, S., 2001. Taste Perception in Humans. Sinauer Associates.
5. Reed, D., Tanaka, T. and McDaniel, A., 2006. Diverse tastes: Genetics of sweet
and bitter perception. Physiology & Behavior, 88 (3), 215-226.
6. TheFreeDictionary.com, (2015). sensory threshold. [online] Available at:
http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/sensory+threshold [Accessed 12
Sep. 2015].
7. Walker, L. (2005). Understanding Senses in Sensory Evaluation. FONA
International.