Salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and yes, the oft-ridiculed but scientifically sound umami; these are the building block flavors the human tongue is capable of tasting and distinguishing from one another. The five tastes may soon be joined by more, as science delves deeper into the grooves of our tastes buds to find out other ways we experience food. The latest scientific inquiry turns to carbohydrates, identifying a taste they're calling "starchy."

"Every culture has a major source of complex carbohydrate. The idea that we can't taste what we're eating doesn't make sense," Oregon State University in Corvallis' explains to New Scientist. There's evidence that complex carbohydrates, which break down into simple sugars, have a flavor of their own that's detectable to the human palate.

The volunteers could still make out this floury flavour when they were given a compound that blocks the receptors on the tongue for detecting sweet tastes. This suggests we can sense carbohydrates before they have been completely broken down into sugar molecules.

"They called the taste 'starchy'," Lim continued. "Asians would say it was rice-like, while Caucasians described it as bread-like or pasta-like. It's like eating flour."

Starchy isn't officially recognized as a new taste—the research team still has to locate the specific receptors on the tongue that perceive this flavor, among other criteria—but it would help to explain why carbs have such a strong pull in the cravings department. It's trendy to cut them out these days, but there's evidence that freshly-milled bread is actually good for you and that eating pasta could help your diet. Death to paleo.

[h/t GrubStreet]