Taste modification

Black tea is supposed to have a bitter aftertaste of tannins. However, i noticed that after eating chewing gum with flavourings sorbitol malitol manitol aspartame and sucralose, the tea taste mildly sweet. It is as though im drinking a mild sugar solution. When I drank the tea, it was at room temperature and i have exhauted the chewing gum flavor. Possible explaination?(using actual science)

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nutcakes
nutcakes June 24, 2012

Food52 Hotline is a crowd sourced method for answering cooking related questions. The members are more cooks than scientists, but there is always a chance someone will come along with an answer for you.

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Maedl
Maedl June 25, 2012

I'm no scientist, but certain foods can affect the way other foods taste. What you are noticing with artificial sweeteners is most likely is caused by a protein in the sweetener that binds to the taste bud (or taste receptor) and changes the way the receptor perceives flavors. See http://www.nytimes.com...

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ChefOno
ChefOno June 25, 2012

Ahem…

I have not come across any information regarding reactions to non-nutritive sweeteners such as you describe. Is it possible your reaction was due to another component of the gum, mint or cinnamon perhaps, overloading your taste receptors? I'd try to duplicate the effect but I avoid those compounds like the plague because of a digestive sensitivity to at least some of them.

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