Scientists agree that human tongues can sense sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami tastes.

Now, it appears that our tongues can also sense fat — or so says this press release from the Washington University in St. Louis.

Researchers there studied 21 obese people. The study participants tasted solutions in three cups. One contained fatty acids, while the other two contained fat-free solutions that had the same texture as the first.

The experiment was repeated several times to determine the threshold of fat detection.

They found that the presence of fat could change the way our tongues perceive food just as it does for other tastes.

The researchers also tested whether variations in the CD36 gene affected persons ability to perceive fat and found that people who produce more of the gene were much more sensitive to the presence of fat.

They still need to determine if the ability to detect fat influences fat intake.

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