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  • This episode of SciShow is brought to you by Brilliant.

  • You can go to to learn more.

  • It's ooey, it's gooey, and it's oh-so-delicious.

  • It's on some of our favorite dishes, like pizza and nachos, and it can even make some our least favorite foods taste better.

  • Yeah, I'm talking about cheese.

  • Or more specifically, melted cheese. Because while cheese is delicious, a lot of people think the melted stuff is so much better.

  • And that's probably not a coincidence.

  • There actually seems to be a scientific reason why people love melted cheese more than solid cheese.

  • So the next time you're reaching for those nachosyou can blame it on your biology.

  • According to the research, a lot of this has to do with something called mouthfeel, a term used to describewell, how food feels in your mouth.

  • It's pretty straightforward.

  • And studies suggest that mouthfeel plays a big role in how much we like a certain food, and that something's texture can even influence how much of it we eat.

  • Take a study published in 2014.

  • In it, researchers ran five experiments where two groups of people ate foods with different textures.

  • In one experiment, they had 83 university students eat either hard or soft brownies while watching advertisements.

  • And the scientists found that the soft brownie group naturally ate more.

  • But people don't just have a soft spot for brownies.

  • Surveys have found that, when it comes to cheese, we also tend to like things on the softer side.

  • And scientists think there are a couple of reasons why.

  • One is that we tend to like foods that don't take a lot of work to eatwhich kind of makes sense.

  • It's way easier to stuff your face with a bunch of soft, fudgy brownies than a bag of rock candy.

  • But this isn't the whole answer because the amount of effort it takes to eat can also be influenced by things like your saliva.

  • For example, some people dissolve starches faster than others because their saliva contains more of a protein called salivary amylase.

  • So something it feels really thick to you might feel more runny to someone else.

  • Another part of the answer seems to be what the food is made of.

  • In general, people probably love the mouthfeel of fatty foods.

  • Specifically, ones that go from solid to semi-solid or liquid, like cheese or chocolate because it signals that the food is higher in calories.

  • And since calories are our source of energy, there's an evolutionary advantage to loving foods with lots of them.

  • Which probably also explains why fatty food is so good at activating the brain's reward system.

  • So really, your love of melty cheese might be your body's way of trying to fuel itself.

  • Between the calories and the fact that it's just so easy to eatwhat's not to love?

  • And speaking of things that are easy to try, have you tried today's Daily Challenge from Brilliant?

  • Brilliant is probably best known for its educational courses.

  • But their Daily Challenges are also really good.

  • And there's a new one every day about math, science, or computer science topics.

  • And these questions are great for brushing up on your skills between classes or while you're riding on the bus home.

  • And, they're totally free.

  • You can do today's Daily Challenge right now,

  • And if you want to get access to the entire archive, you can become a Premium member.

  • And conveniently, the first 200 people to sign up at will get 20% off of their annual Premium subscription.

  • So, have at itand thanks for supporting SciShow along the way!

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This episode of SciShow is brought to you by Brilliant.

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