It looks like research has revealed a new sense of taste in humans, and it’s for — you guessed it — carbs.
Until now, the consensus was that humans couldn’t detect the taste of carbs. The notion was that because carbs break down so rapidly, only a sweet taste was left over from the sugar molecules that make them up. So when we taste carbs, previous research suggested we only taste sweet. (source)
Well break out the whiteout and the textbooks, because it looks like a fair bit of revision is in order.
If you’re of a certain age, this will mark the second time we’ve changed our understanding of human sense of taste. Seven years ago, there was the Umami revolution. And there are hints of more revisions to come. Fat, it turns out, might be more than just a flavor amplifier…it very well may be a taste unto its own. And then there is Calcium, carbonation, the metal taste in blood, amino acids, kokumi and who knows what else.
If you’re interested in a deeper dive, check out the primary source in Chemical Sense: Humans Can Taste Glucose Oligomers Independent of the hT1R2/hT1R3 Sweet Taste Receptor.