Guess What?

By Liam Martin

Question

This experiment is made to find out if the color of a liquid changes the way you think it tastes?

Hypothesis

Yes. I believe that most people will get it wrong and think that the liquids would taste different because different colors stand for a different thing like red could stand for a fruit like cherry or apple.

Research

Keyword: Taste buds


  • Most taste buds are on the tongue but some are on the roof of the mouth in the back.
  • Your taste buds are connected to your medulla, that is the lower part of the brain. It then travels to the higher part of the brain called the cerebral cortex where you actually receive the taste, then your brain figures it out and tells you. All in a short amount of time.
  • Taste buds are actually sensory organs - the little bumps on your tongue are called papillae.(Puh-pill-uh).
  • Papillae have microscopic hairs on them called microvilli.
  • When you place something in your mouth, the microvilli are the first to get it. Then they send it to the medulla, then the cerebral cortex, then you get the taste.
  • An average person has about 10,000 taste buds and when some dull they get replaced approximately every two weeks. But as you age, they don't always get replaced so some elderly people might only have 5,000 so food might taste stronger to a kid than an adult .




Keywords: Does the color of food effect what it tastes like.


  • Red - your brain thinks sweet like strawberry.
  • Yellow - your brain thinks sour like lime or lemon.
  • Bright green - you brain thinks tart like a green apple.
  • Black or purple or dark green - your brain thinks rotten or bad.
  • Dairy foods are usually pale or white unless they have food coloring in it.
  • Vegetables and fruits are usually red, green, yellow or red.
  • Meat is usually brown or a darker red and since you have lived for a few years your brain has memorized all of the colors of food; if you eat something new you remember the taste and you can use that knowledge in the future.
  • Your brain will also immediately reject any food that looks moldy or stale like green bread and your nose helps with that because if you can't see that milk is bad, if you smell it you will definitely know.

Material

  1. Three gallons of apple juice.
  2. Red and green liquid food coloring.
  3. Paper.
  4. Pencil.
  5. 15 test subjects.
  6. 45 clear small plastic cups

Procedure

  1. Dye one gallon bottle of apple juice green and one gallon red; don't color last gallon of juice.
  2. Pour about half a cup of green food colored apple juice in 15 cups (or one if you are doing it one at a time).
  3. Pour about half a cup of red food colored apple juice in 15 cups (or one if you are doing it one at a time).
  4. Pour about half a cup of uncolored apple juice in 15 cups (or one if you are doing it on at a time).
  5. Place one of each colored apple juice and uncolored apple juice in front of the test subject.
  6. Ask them to taste the green apple juice and tell you what it tastes like.
  7. Ask them to taste the red apple juice and tell you what it tastes like.
  8. Ask them to taste the uncolored apple juice and tell you what it tastes like.
  9. Record all answers.
  10. Do steps 3-8 for all test subjects.
  11. Analyze the results.

Observation

If you use 3 drops of red food coloring per one half cup it will look red but not too light or too dark. If you use 1 drop of green food coloring per one half cup it will work just fine.


Out of all the cups, people got 23/45 right. Out of all the cups that people thought was something else, 22/45 were wrong.

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Conclusion

I think my hypothesis was wrong because more people thought it was apple juice than other flavors. However, the results were so close that I would have to do it over again or multiple times to really get accurate results. If I ever do it again, I would do it with either all kids or adults or teenagers. I think as you get older you stop looking at the color and use your taste buds more than you do as a child.

Resources

World Book Student

Https://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/colataste.htm

Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ox7hJLDtpU

Http://kidshealth.org/kid/talk/qa/tastebuds.html

Http:www.huffingtonpost.com/menuism/does-the-way-we-see-food-affect-taste_b_1872204Html