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Biology: The Unity and Diversity o...

15th Edition
Cecie Starr + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337408332

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Biology: The Unity and Diversity o...

15th Edition
Cecie Starr + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337408332
Textbook Problem
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A compound extracted from the leaves of the shrub Stevin-rebaudiana is a natural sugar substitute. The compound is 300 times sweeter than sugar, but has a slight bitter aftertaste. Given what you know about taste receptors, explain how a compound can be perceived as both sweet and bitter.

Summary Introduction

To explain: How a compound can be perceived as both sweet and bitter.

Introduction: Taste sensations and preferences are mediated by taste receptor cells. Taste receptors are chemoreceptors that are present in the taste buds on the tongue surface, mouth lining, and upper digestive system. Taste receptors are arranged in groups of 50-150 and appear as bundles. There are five types of tastes commonly sensed by humans namely sweet, sour, umami, salty, and bitter.

Explanation

As given in the problem statement, the compound extracted from the leaves of the shrub Stevia rebaudiana is a natural sugar substitute that is 300 times sweeter than sugar, but it is slightly bitter after taste. The sensation of taste initiates when a molecule binds to the taste receptor and excites it. This results in excitation of a sensory neuron in the taste bud that relays signal to the brain...

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