(July 24) MONTEREY, Calif. — Not only does everyone have different tastes in food, people can’t even agree on what flavor is.

A July 15 workshop at the Produce Marketing Association’s Foodservice Conference & Expo in Monterey explored taste in “The Science of Taste.”

University of Minnesota department of food science and nutrition professor Zata Vickers said flavor consists of taste, smell and trigeminal, which is a chemical sensation like burning, but also other stimuli.

Most people have 500 to 600 different odor receptors in their brain, and there’s no limit to the variety of smells people have, Vickers said.

But there are only five generally agreed upon basic tastes: salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami, which she described as brothy or savory.

Vickers said the more produce marketers know about how taste works, the better they can position their products.