Blood and Organs May Be Able To Smell Food, Research Shows

When you’re trying out new recipes in your online cooking courses, you may have noticed that your whole body gets a warm feeling when the air is filled with strong food fragrances. A new study conducted under research leader Peter Schieberle, PhD, scientists found that the heart, lungs, blood and cells contain the same receptors that the nose uses to sense odors.

“In the nose, these so-called receptors sense substances called odorants and translate them into an aroma that we interpret as pleasing or not pleasing in the brain,” Schieberle said in a news release. “Once odor components are inside the body, however, it is unclear whether they are functioning in the same way as they do in the nose. But we would like to find out.”

For foodies everywhere, this finding can help explain why the body seems to perk up around pleasing scents. When the research was presented at an American Chemical Society meeting in New Orleans on April 7, researchers noted that odors may play a more significant role in our lives than science previously indicated. In the food world, the research is especially pertinent because it explains why we are put off by some foods and attracted to others solely based on how they smell.

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