The Molecular Mechanisms of Taste and Aroma

This session is a basic science presentation addressing chirality, the structure and function of the tongue, soft palate, and structures of the olfactory system as they relate to brewing. This information can be useful for beer judges and anyone seeking a better understanding of the biological mechanisms of taste and aroma.

Learning Objectives

  • Introduce the concept of chirality and the chiral environments where molecules in beer interact
  • Understand the five basic tastes (and two theoretical tastes) as they relate to brewing and explain how these tastes are transduced by the tongue and soft palate
  • Explore the main structures of the olfactory system and explain the process of olfactory transduction
  • Get to know the variety of olfactory receptors that have been discovered
  • Trace neural pathways from these tissues to the brain
  • Discuss our current understanding of how taste and olfactory information is processed by the brain

About the Speaker

Alexander (Alex) Gashti lives in Tampa, Florida and has been homebrewing since 2009. Alex’s formal education includes a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry from Indiana University and a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Maryland. He enjoys learning about drugs and alcohol.

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