Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why wine and tea pair so well with a meal: It's all in the mouthfeel

Date:
October 8, 2012
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
Of course a nice glass of wine goes well with a hearty steak, and now researchers who study the way food feels in our mouths think they may understand why that is: The astringent wine and fatty meat are like the yin and yang of the food world, sitting on opposite ends of a sensory spectrum. The findings offer a whole new definition of the balanced meal. They also offer a new way of thinking about our eating habits, both good and bad.

Of course a nice glass of wine goes well with a hearty steak, and now researchers who study the way food feels in our mouths think they may understand why.
Credit: M.studio / Fotolia

Of course a nice glass of wine goes well with a hearty steak, and now researchers who study the way food feels in our mouths think they may understand why that is: The astringent wine and fatty meat are like the yin and yang of the food world, sitting on opposite ends of a sensory spectrum.

The findings, reported in the October 9th issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, offer a whole new definition of the balanced meal. They also offer a new way of thinking about our eating habits, both good and bad.

"The mouth is a magnificently sensitive somatosensory organ, arguably the most sensitive in the body," said Paul Breslin of Rutgers University and the Monell Chemical Senses Center. "The way foods make our mouths feel has a great deal to do with what foods we choose to eat."

It might explain the appeal of salad dressings, with their characteristic acids and oils, for example. Think also of the pink folds of ginger on the sides of our sushi plates or the soda with our burgers and fries.

The researchers knew that astringent wines feel rough and dry in our mouths. Fats, on the other hand, are slippery. There was the notion that the two might oppose each other, but it wasn't quite clear how that might really work. After all, the astringents we consume are only weakly astringent.

Breslin, Catherine Peyrot des Gachons, and colleagues now show that weakly astringent brews -- in this case containing grape seed extract, a green tea ingredient, and aluminum sulfate -- build in perceived astringency with repeated sipping. When paired with dried meat, those astringent beverages indeed counter the slippery sensation that goes with fattiness.

This natural tendency for seeking balance in our mouths might have benefits for maintaining a diversity of foods in our diet, Breslin says.

"The opposition between fatty and astringent sensations allows us to eat fatty foods more easily if we also ingest astringents with them," he says.

As an aside, Breslin adds, fresh seeds and nuts could have a certain sort of appeal. "These foods come both with their own fats and astringents in one package, so they may be self-balancing."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Catherine Peyrot des Gachons, Emi Mura, Camille Speziale, Charlotte J. Favreau, Guillaume F. Dubreuil, Paul A.S. Breslin. Opponency of astringent and fat sensations. Current Biology, 2012; 22 (19): R829 DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2012.08.017

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Why wine and tea pair so well with a meal: It's all in the mouthfeel." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121008134215.htm>.
Cell Press. (2012, October 8). Why wine and tea pair so well with a meal: It's all in the mouthfeel. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121008134215.htm
Cell Press. "Why wine and tea pair so well with a meal: It's all in the mouthfeel." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121008134215.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins