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Veggies as Tasty as Candy: The Quest for the Perfect Tomato Veggies as Tasty as Candy: The Quest for the Perfect Tomato
Lifestyle

Veggies as Tasty as Candy: The Quest for the Perfect Tomato

by Adele Peters

March 10, 2013

If junk food is carefully engineered to be as addictive as possible, should scientists do the same for vegetables? Humans have evolved to love sweetness; tens of thousands of years ago (or even much more recently), the calories that sugar provides might have meant survival. Now, the craving for sweetness drives the candy industry and growing waistlines. But sugar isn't the only source of a sweet taste, as Rachel Nuwer reports at the Smithsonian:

The sweetness of a farmer’s market strawberry or a hand-picked blueberry comes largely from volatiles, or chemical compounds in food that readily become fumes. Our nose picks up on and interacts with dozens of these flavorful fumes in any given food, perfuming each bite with a specific flavor profile. The sensations received by smell and taste receptors interact in the same area of the brain, the thalamus, where our brain processes them to project flavors such as sweetness.

Original tomato image via Shutterstock.

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Veggies as Tasty as Candy: The Quest for the Perfect Tomato