Experiment: How Your Eyes, Nose, And Saliva Impact Taste

As humans, we have five tastes: bitter, salty, savory, sour, and sweet. And, it isn’t just your tongue that aids in your tasting. Actually, you rely on your eyes and nose as well. In this week’s Camp Fire Spark, you will conduct some experiments to help you better understand how your senses impact the taste.

Your nose is often underrated when it comes to eating. Did you know that 80 to 90 percent of your taste comes from your sense of smell? 

And saliva (your spit) is important in sour, salty, and savory. For sour items, saliva helps reduce the intensity of flavor.

Your eyes and nose play an important role in tasting as does saliva. With some simple experiments, you can do at home, you will gain insight into how taste works. You might be surprised by how much your eyes and nose play.


To gain a better understanding of how your eyes, nose, and saliva impact taste, complete these experiments.

Experiment # 1 – Taste Without Your Nose. For this experiment, you will pinch your nose before tasting. After chewing the food fully, take a sip of water and swish it around your mouth before swallowing. Taste the food again. What do you notice?

Experiment # 2 – Taste without Saliva. For this experiment, you will need a paper towel and a few items with different tastes. Before tasting, take the paper towel and dry your tongue. Then sample your food choice. After chewing the food fully, take a sip of water and swish it around your mouth before swallowing. Taste the food again. What do you notice?

Experiment # 3 – Close Your Eyes. For this experiment, you test how your sight impacts taste. Prepare your food items so you know where these are relative to where you are sitting. It is best if you have a family member near you. Start by tasting one food with your eyes closed. Chew it completely. Then, open your eyes. Let your eyes adjust to the light for about thirty seconds. Then, look at the same food item and taste it. What do you notice?

Camp Fire Alaska will be writing a weekly article featuring ideas and activities for youth, teens, and families to do together. Share your photos of your taste experiments. Send us details at [email protected] and use the hashtags #CampFireAlaskaSenses and #CampFireAlaskaSpark in your social posts.

Joe Slowinski, Camp Fire Alaska

Anchorage, AK

A plea for help

Our capacity for cruelty in the human race has reached unbearable proportions. We make rules as civilized beings, only to be abused and used against us by less civilized individuals with a good knowledge of the legal system. Those who preach peace, love, and turning the other cheek, have become the weakened victims of their own philosophy.

I have never seen the court system so broken and damaged in the years having to deal with it. The attorneys who are hired to help us do a very poor job and our innocence is not an option. Natives in our delta are treated the worst and we are guilty and treated like dogs by these attorneys. If we question the court we are mostly told to be quiet and if we do say something we’re told to speak to our attorneys and the attorneys retaliate by not answering the phone or making real bad plea deals. Attorneys won’t do anything to help and when the time comes for trial the attorneys are not ready and they take you to trial in the blind and railroad you.

Bethel Public Defenders and the Bethel Public Advocacy offices are at their worst and really need to be reformed with attorneys who want to help and not turn a blind eye to what is going on to Alaska natives. Us Alaska Natives are warehoused in this jail with a phone system that don’t allow us to make calls and this jail is set up like a concentration camp with no windows to look out and all windows are covered so we can’t even see one another.

I honestly believe it is set up this way so we will grow weak and quit fighting our case and plea out to whatever deal comes our way? Our lives shouldn’t be played like a chess game between attorneys and the district attorneys. I do value my life and I wish I had the money for outside counsel, but I don’t but that don’t mean my attorney needs to treat me or others like dogs and they are barred by law to help us.

They get paid by our Great State Alaska, but they blame Covid-19 for the lack of help? They have phones and the internet and could be working on our case even more now that most people are home to take the calls. Please someone help us, someone please listen to our pleas for help. Thank you.

Lance Jones, YKCC

Bethel, AK

Example: 9075434113