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Conference Papers Year : 2018

The role of oral fluids and films in the sense of taste


Taste buds constantly bathe in saliva, or more precisely in the oral fluid (termed whole saliva) made of secreted saliva, plasma exudate, shedding cells and microorganisms. Furthermore during eating, whole saliva is mixed with the food containing tastants. The various documented actions of saliva will be reviewed: protection of the integrity and functionality of the anatomical taste structures, dissolution and transport of taste molecules or binding between salivary components and tastants, with different consequences on taste perception. Subsequently, our own research performed on human subjects will be presented. Such studies aimed to establish links between taste acceptance (in infants) or taste sensitivity (in adults) and saliva composition using non-targeted “omics” analytical methods. Overall, it is suggested that proteolysis within the oral cavity might be determinant, as evidenced by the differentially represented salivary cystatins (inhibitors of cysteine proteases) or protein fragments between groups of different sensitivity. We further suggest that this proteolysis might impact the structured biological layer on oral soft surfaces (the mucosal pellicle) formed through bioadhesion mechanisms. A cell-based model, suitable to study the interaction between the mucosal pellicle and flavour compounds, was therefore developed. Its application to the characterization of tannins-salivary proteins interactions will be presented. In parallel, our non-targeted studies also pointed at the possible involvement of the oral microbiota in the taste function. A preliminary study on this topic will be presented. Generic taste sensitivity was linked to some microbiologically-related variables in saliva and in the film lining the tongue, confirming the interest of further pursuing this line of research.
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Dates and versions

hal-02735515 , version 1 (02-06-2020)


  • HAL Id : hal-02735515 , version 1
  • PRODINRA : 427946
  • WOS : 000442930300053


Martine Morzel. The role of oral fluids and films in the sense of taste. 40. annual meeting - association for chemoreception sciences (AChemS), Apr 2018, Bonita Springs, Florida, United States. 1 p. ⟨hal-02735515⟩
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