The Role of Saliva in Taste Transduction

Ryuji Matsuo, Guy H. Carpenter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Citations (Scopus)


Many human psychophysical and animal behavioral and electrophysiological studies have been employed and provided evidence that saliva can widely affect the oral sense including the five basic tastes and the taste of fat, starch, astringency, and tactile sensation. For many tastants, saliva will be the solvent used to convey the ions to the taste buds. Taste pores are usually filled with mucous fluid that is derived from saliva and perhaps secretions from taste bud cells. Acids can stimulate both taste and trigeminal sensory receptors. This chapter discusses the role of saliva as a solvent, and the role of saliva in salty, sour, sweet, umami and bitter tastes, and tastes produced by amylase and lipase. For the secretion of sufficient resting saliva and maintenance of oral senses, it is necessary to maintain the ability to produce sufficient stimulated saliva, which requires sound salivary glands, neural circuits, and chewing capability.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Olfaction and Gustation
Subtitle of host publicationThird Edition
PublisherWiley Blackwell
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781118971758
ISBN (Print)9781118139226
Publication statusPublished - Jun 4 2015


  • Astringency
  • Mucous fluid
  • Oral senses
  • Saliva
  • Sensory receptors
  • Taste transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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