Press "Enter" to skip to content

Tasting a Lemon

Sourness is illustrated by this yucky icon for taste sensations that are lemon flavoured.

Any flavor or gustatory perception that could be roughly described as acidic or caustic is called a sour taste sensation. We use words like soapy, tart, corrosive, sharp, astringent, tangy, acerbic, rancid, vitriolic, biting, vinegary etc. to identify these flavors. They are visually identified with an icon of ‘Mr. Yuk’ who is a symbol for harmful substances. To make a binary description of a these sensations compare them to tasting a lemon.

Report the result using one of the following algebraic statements. If the two experiences are not comparable, then say that the sensation is not a sour sensation and express this as \delta_{H}=0 . If the taste sensation is like a lemon, then say that it is tart. Write this as \delta_{H}=+1 . If the taste sensation is not like a lemon, then say that it is soapy and that \delta_{H}=-1 . The number \delta_{H} is called the sourness. These relations are mathematically expressed by

\delta_{H} \equiv \begin{cases} +1 &{\text{if a sour taste sensation is tart }} \\ \; \; 0 &{\text{if a taste sensation is not sour}} \\ -1 &{\text{if a sour taste sensation is soapy }} \end{cases}

Reference Constant for Sourness

The numerical constant associated with tasting a lemon has not yet been assigned.