Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Minty Apples - Thirty Second Science

We tried an experiment this morning, from Janice Vancleave's 201 Awesome, Magical, Bizarre, & Incredible Experiments, investigating the effect of smell on taste.

Vancleave's experiment called for eating apple while sniffing a cotton ball, soaked in vanilla. But, I couldn't find our cotton balls, and the vanilla in the container did not seem to produce a strong enough scent to change our perception of the apple's taste. So, we switched to some freshly picked mint leaves.

First, I had the children taste the apple normally. They all agreed it had a pleasant, apple flavor.

Then, I had them tear up a mint leaf, and smell it.

Finally, keeping the mint leaves, under their noses, they tasted the apple again. This time, it tasted like mint. Even though they knew it was apple, and knew what it should taste like, the powerful smell of the mint, changed what they were tasting. It wasn't exactly like chewing on a mint leaf, but the flavor was definitely there.

What really surprised me was the refreshing minty aftertaste, that lingered even after the apple, and leaves were gone.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Christy Killoran said...

Great experiment. I am surprised by the minty aftertaste too! We'll have to try this.

catier461 said...

Last year we ate LifeSavers with eyes closed (sight) and holding our noses (smell)- it was amazing how much we rely on both those senses to determine what flavor something is (or should be!)!! This looks awesome- we'll definitely add this to the list! Thanks!!

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

This is pretty interesting - I would like to try it too!

Christianne @ Little Page Turners said...

That's what makes mint so insidious. You don't even have to be the one to ingest it - you just have to have the scent within sniffing distance and suddenly, you're tasting it! (Can you tell I hate mint?)

Ticia said...

Huh, who'da thunk it? I'll have to try this when we get home in a few days. We've got mint growing like crazy in our front garden.