Much remains to be understood about chemosensory disorders and how to treat them. There is a growing appreciation of the way smell and taste intimately affects behaviors that impact human health and our quality of life. Smell and taste play important roles in guiding our dietary choices, thus contributing to both nutrition and to the risk of diseases of overconsumption such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, smell and taste deficits reduce the quality of life for millions of people, including an estimated 50 percent of the aged population.
Chemosensory science influences the human condition in other ways. Engineered sensors can be used as sentinels for detecting disease, pollutants, or other dangerous agents. Disrupting the ability of pest insects to find their hosts can limit the spread of disease and mitigate crop damage.
Enhancing the smells and tastes of natural foods can improve food acceptance by children and the elderly. In all these ways, the UF Center for Smell and Taste can impact our everyday lives.