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

  • You can go to Brilliant.org/SciShow 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 our least favorite foods taste better

  • Yes, I'm talking about cheese.

  • Or more specifically, melted cheese

  • because while cheese is delicious and all, 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.

  • 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.

  • People don't just have a soft spot for brownies, though.

  • 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 eat

  • which 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.

  • This isn't the whole answer, though,

  • 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 that feels really thick to you might feel more runny to someone else.

  • Another part of the answer, then, 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 eat

  • what's not to love?

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

  • Brilliant is probably best known for its courses about science, math, engineering, and computer

  • science, but their Daily Challenges are really good.

  • There's a new one every day about a math, science, or computer science topics, and these

  • questions great for brushing up on your skills between classes or on the bus home.

  • Also, 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 Brilliant.org/SciShow will get

  • 20% off their annual Premium subscription.

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

This episode of SciShow is brought to you by Brilliant.

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B1 US cheese melted scishow brilliant soft solid

Why Does Melted Cheese Taste So Much Better?

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    Jerry Liu posted on 2019/09/19
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