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The taste system can discriminate mixtures of water dissolved minerals varying on cations proportion

Abstract : The taste of water depends on the total dissolved solids (TDS) namely the quantity of minerals dissolved in water (Teillet et al., 2007). However, it remains unclear whether the Human taste system is able to discriminate between two water samples with the same TDS but different proportions of minerals. In other words, has our gustatory system the ability to reflect a difference in taste quality due to a difference in the proportion of minerals in mixture? We addressed this question using 7 water samples containting a mixture of Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, HCO3 -, SO4 2- and Cl-. These 7 samples contained the same total amount of dissolved solids but varied in ions proportion. 62 subjects compared these 7 samples following a pair comparison procedure. Differences between the samples were evaluated using the binomial law and a Bonferroni correction. The results indicated that the panel discriminated the sample including a higher amount of Na+ from those including a higher amount of Mg2+ or K+ and the sample with a higher proportion of K+ from the one boosted in Ca2+. These findings evidenced that, beyond total dissolved solids variations, our taste system is able to differentiate between the proportions of cations in mixture. As a consequence,the taste of water appeared to be driven both by the total amount of dissolved solids but also by their respective proportion. We thank ANRT(CIFRE number 372/2006) for financial support. Teillet E, Urbano C, Cordelle S, Schlich P. (2007) A study of the sensory perception of tap waters versus bottled mineral waters using a combined sorting, descriptive and hedonic task carried out by 389 French consumers. 7th Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium. Minneapolis, USA.
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Sabine Puget, Myriam Peignet, Yoann Curé, Noëlle Béno, Elisabeth Guichard, et al.. The taste system can discriminate mixtures of water dissolved minerals varying on cations proportion. The 15. International Symposium on Olfaction and Taste (ISOT), Jul 2008, San Francisco, Californie, United States. ⟨10.1093/chemse/bjn064⟩. ⟨hal-02756086⟩



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