7
$\begingroup$

What gives it that salty taste? I'm wondering if it's the $\ce{Na+}$ or the $\ce{Cl-}$. I know that $\ce{KCl}$ also tastes salty, and other salts have different flavours, but where does the saltiness in $\ce{NaCl}$ come from? I mean, it makes sense that it's the $\ce{Cl-}$ ion, but it could also be that $\ce{K+}$ and $\ce{Na+}$ have similar flavours.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Mostly Cl-. Taste some baking soda, it is not quite salty. $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Nov 2 '16 at 9:24
5
$\begingroup$

The salt receptors are sodium ionic channels, i.e. peptides which are selectively permeable for Na ions [1]. Ionic current causes receptor activation and neural responce.

Anion plays minor role here, imposing upon salty taste. The result may appear acidic, bitter and even sweet. For example, I believe that sulphates are overally bitter. Carbonates or alkali probably just burn the receptors and may have random taste.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.