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Does Smell Affect Taste? Tasty Experiment

Does smell affect taste? Here's a tasty science experiment to find out! Have kids sample candy using different obstables like plugging their nose or sniffing a strong scent while chewing and see if it affects the taste.
Active Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Cost: $2

Equipment

  • small cups

Materials

Instructions

  • Start by having each child write down the flavors they will be sampling. You will record the rest of the results from here on out since they will be blindfolded and you don't want them to see what flavor they just tried.

The Blindfold Test

  • This first one brings in another sense besides smell...sight! Give each child one flavor of candy and see if they can figure out which one it is! Write down their results. Repeat for remaining flavors.
    This gave mixed results. Some of the flavors (lemon and orange) tasted similar and were hard to figure out without the sense of sight, butĀ overall they did a good job at figuring them out. They said that all of them had a strong flavor.
    blindfolded child trying a piece of candy

The Plugged Nose Test

  • Repeat test, but have each child plug their nose while eating. Record their results.
    In the previous round, every candy had a strong flavor. In this round, they concluded that many did not seem to have a flavor at all.
    child with blindfold and plugged nose eating candy

Adding Another Scent Test

  • Add a few drops of scented oil onto a cotton ball and place in a small cup so that the oil doesn't get on the kids' fingers. We used peppermint.
    child with scented cup under nose
  • Repeat test, having the child hold the cup under his/her nose, and record the results.
    This round, BY FAR, was their least favorite.
    "Everything tastes like peppermint!"
    filled out results sheet

Notes

Some of the kids wrote "Can't taste" while others just blindly guessed what flavor it was and hoped to get a few right. While the results varied from child to child, the majority had the best results with only the blindfold and concluded that the other factors definitely had an affect on the taste of the candy.