The gustatory system or sense of taste is the sensory system that is partially responsible for the perception of taste (flavor). Taste is the perception produced or stimulated when a substance in the mouth reacts chemically with taste receptor cells located on taste buds in the oral cavity, mostly on the tongue. Taste, along with smell (olfaction) and trigeminal nerve stimulation (registering texture, pain, and temperature), determines flavors of food and other substances. Humans have taste receptors on taste buds and other areas including the upper surface of the tongue and the epiglottis. The gustatory cortex is responsible for the perception of taste.
Taste receptors in the mouth sense the five taste modalities: sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, and savoriness (also known as savory or umami).Scientific experiments have demonstrated that these five tastes exist and are distinct from one another. Taste buds are able to distinguish between different tastes through detecting interaction with different molecules or ions. Sweet, savoriness, and bitter tastes are triggered by the binding of molecules to G protein-coupled receptors on the cell membranes of taste buds. Saltiness and sourness are perceived when alkali metal or hydrogen ions enter taste buds, respectively.