"To understand why these foods mess with your mind, first think about your tongue. It's covered with little clusters of taste-sensitive cells, and each cell's membrane is studded with proteins that function, essentially, as doorbells. When something – a molecule in food you've eaten – hits them just right, a message shoots from the cell to the brain, causing one of the five taste sensations: sweetness, bitterness, sourness, saltiness, or umami."

Greenwood goes on to touch on the history of taste science, the discoveries that still need to be made, and the havoc sodium lauryl sulphate wreaks on your orange juice-tasting receptors. Check out her whole article (linked below) and let us know what you think in the comments.

Read more at BBC Future

Photo credit: saisnaps / Shutterstock