What happens to our sense of taste when we eat cold food?

The sense of taste is a sensation elicited by stimulation of the taste receptor cells, enabling you to enjoy food and beverages that the world has to offer. The flavour of food is inspired by the sense of smell, which is why the flavourings to several dishes disappear when we have a cold therefore becoming a tasteless experience. The intelligence of taste is part of our chemical ‘sensing’ system, taste is activated when tiny molecules are released by chewing or the swallowing of food, triggering special sensory cells in both the mouth and the throat.

When we eat cold food or have a cold beverage we excite our sense of taste, our taste buds come more alive and send an instant message to our brains informing our body to re act instantly to the substance that is in our mouths. For example, if you were to have a spoonful of ice-cream which is identically best served cold, the message that is sent back to our taste buds is to warm the ice-cream up in our mouths and make it body temperature, enabling the sweet sensational taste of sugar to swim around our mouths. If ice-cream was eaten as it is kept (at freezing point) without the mouth warming it up and sending it in to liquid form then it wouldn’t taste so appealing – in fact it would taste bitter and sour as the warmth of our mouths enables the sugar to escape, but it should be consumed immediately and never kept in a liquid form as it becomes far too sickly to drink.

The same suit follows for hot food or hot beverages. Ever had a sip of your coffee once it’s gone past the point of the enjoyable room temperature of lukewarm? It is unappealing to our taste buds and it is common that we pull a face of disgust when making this mistake. The human body itself is a magical and wonderful thing so it comes as no surprise when cold food is entering the mouth that the body is able to correctly identify that it is in fact a cold dish. With that being said our sense of taste is heightened when eating or drinking something cold, this is because cold things excite the body, it makes our taste buds become more sensitive allowing us to feel the cold sensation of the food/beverage all the way down our throats, glazing each and every inch of our insides.

Overall, our sense of taste is electrified when eating cold food. Our body accepts cold food and beverages more than it does with hot food and beverages. This is because our taste buds are excited at the taste of cold food as we are able to appreciate the taste of the beverage or food that we are consuming more. Sensitive compounds on the tongue are heat sensitive, therefore foods/beverages that are meant to be enjoyed hot should be kept at a reasonable temperature for enjoyment, and those that are meant to be enjoyed cold should be kept cold to avoid disappointment.

Refrigeration Fails

Walk-in freezers are used to preserve substantial amounts of perishable foods, from meat to ice cream. Although that ’90s Corrie episode was great,  walk-in freezers really are a dangerous environment for employees. Here’s a round-up of fails relating to cold storage.

cold storage solutions

Why do we like a Cold Beer?

Welcome to one of the age-old questions humans have been asking since the invention of the refrigerators: why do some foods taste better when cold? It’s one of those quirky little thoughts we all have now and again, along with “Why does cola taste horrible when it’s flat?” or “Why do drinks taste better in a glass bottle as opposed to a plastic bottle?” Well, we’re here to put your mind at ease with our mini guide to why some foods and drinks taste better when refrigerated…

cold storage solutions

A brief history of Refrigeration

The humble refrigerator has become such a mainstay of our lives that we barely stop to think of a time before its existence. This post will offer a brief history of refrigeration, asking questions such as what happened before refrigeration, when was refrigeration invented, when did it become mainstream and what does the future hold?


What happened before refrigeration?


Prior to the invention of mechanical refrigeration, people found many different ways of preserving their food. Cooling systems were created from thing as basic as lining a hole in the ground with ice or snow. In Victorian times, iceboxes were made as a means of cooling food. Iceboxes were similar in appearance to large wardrobes with shelves that were full of ice. These methods were not perfect so tactics to preserve foods such as smoking, pickling, salting were very common. What was clear was that people were more than ready for a better way of keeping fresh foods.


When was refrigeration invented?


It was between 1830-1920 that refrigeration, as we know it came about. 1834 saw the invention of the first vapour-compression refrigeration system and 1885 saw the first commercial ice-making machine. By the time the 1920s came about these early inventions had been fine tuned to become refrigeration techniques akin to what we are used to today.


When did refrigeration become mainstream?


Whereas domestic refrigeration as we recognise it today became popular by the 1940s, commercial refrigeration had been in use for over 40 years prior. The reason for this delay was that refrigeration at that point had relied upon chemical that were considered dangerous for use in the home.


What are the future developments in refrigeration?


The key developments we can expect to see in commercial refrigeration include:


  • Vastly improved refrigeration in terms of energy saving capabilities
  • New technologies that will revolutionise the industry such as thermo elastic cooling and magnetic refrigeration.
  • Refrigeration being more linked to modern technology such as the Internet of things.


Cooling systems have come a long way from early methods such as digging a hole in the ground and will soon be including advanced technology so as linking cooling systems to the internet. We hope you have enjoyed this brief history of refrigeration.