Jean Brillat-Savarin, “The Physiology of Taste”, 1825 was the topic of an another blog post. Four basic human taste: 1. acidity, 2. salinity, 3. bitterness and 4. sweetness are given by Jean Brillat-Savarin.
These four taste traits are usually explained in the language of chemistry.
First, the “zeroth” sense of tasteless is associated with all noble gas elements (#2 He, #10 Ne, #18 Ar, #36 Kr, #54 Xe, #86 Rn, #118 Og). The electron orbital configurations of noble gas elements are closed & complete: and, thus noble gases are chemically inert.
In the table above, #1 H+ hydrogen cation is the “litmus” of taste acidity in saliva.
In the table above, #11 Na+ and #19 K+ (sodium and potassium cations) in salvia is the salinity taste.
In the table above, #12 Mg++ & #20 Ca++ (magnesium & calcium cation) in saliva (water hardness) is bitter taste.
Finally, sweetness is not defined as sugary but as #82 lead Pb++ cation. The dietary nonessential lead cation Pb++ defines the sweetness trait. Lead is not a nutrient, but taste sweet in mouth in Pb++ as part of Lead Acetate Pb(CH3COO)2 .
The four taste traits concept is limited to the 19th century. Today most people speak of a fifth “savory” taste. The savory taste is referred to as “umami” a Japanese loanword. The fifth “savory” taste consists of #6 C carbon element, organic molecules.