How Taste Buds Interpret The Sweet and Sour of Citrus

By: The Hale Groves Team | On: | Category: Healthy Eating

640x480_hg_169gnqv1_s3Citrus fruits are both sweet and sour due to the combination of sugar and citric acid in them. The more acidic a fruit is, meaning bitterness and sugar it contains, the sweeter it tastes. Oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, and lemons are all a combination of both sweet and sour. Citrus growers at Hale Groves work hard to produce the best tasting fruit from their orchards through a variety of growing techniques and constant testing of fruit for flavor, density and ripeness.

Interpreting Flavor

Taste buds are tiny organs all over our tongues that interpret or pick up the sense of the flavors in food and drinks. Their discovery happened in the 19th century and the sensation of flavor can be categorized into five basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami. Our taste buds have distinct preferences as to the flavor combinations in citrus fruit, which are known for its zest and fragrance. If the balance is off, we interpret that as a less favorable taste. Our tongues interpret the citric acid in the fruit as sharp or bitter, while the sugar is interpreted as sweet. A juicy, meaty orange or grapefruit quenches our thirst and satisfies our hunger. Drinking juice made from citrus fruit is refreshing and provokes an awakening of the taste buds.

Citrus is often eaten fresh, ripe off the tree or cooked in a variety of dishes. The entire fruit can be used for various culinary purposes. The rind, zest, pulp and meat are used to flavor baked goods, marmalades, salads and meat dishes.

Health Benefits

Citrus fruits contain a large amount of Vitamin C, as well as flavonoids. Flavonoids are a group of plant pigments, which exert antioxidant activity and offer a variety of health benefits. These nutrients occur in varying amounts in the different citrus fruits, but all of them contribute to maintaining good health. The group of substances known as flavonoids is also accountable for the fruit’s color and bitter flavor.

Flavonoids help to control weight and prevent diabetes, while the antioxidants in citrus fruit help prevent cholesterol and strokes. While the saying goes that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, the truth is that cholesterol can be improved with a squirt of citrus juice a day. Additionally, the high amounts of Vitamin C and fiber in citrus can relieve gas and bloating.

Cleaning and Detoxifying

The benefits of citrus fruits go beyond the taste. Different types of citrus fruits have similar nutrients but in somewhat different amounts. In addition to fiber and vitamin C, citrus fruits supply calcium, potassium, folate and vitamin A. Eating a piece of citrus fruit is a sure way of adding dietary fiber for a healthier lifestyle.

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