Fat is the sixth basic taste, or so claim the Australian scientists of Deakin University in Melbourne.
Russell Keast said that they had evidence to support that fat was comprehensive and overwhelming enough to be considered as taste, News.com au reported.
Scientists had previously agreed there were four primary tastes: sweet, salt, sour and bitter, and in 2002, they added umami, a savoury taste.
Despite fat being classified as a taste as early as 330BC by Aristotle, more recently it has been associated with texture, flavour release and thermal properties in foods, but not the sense of taste.
Now, in the paper, Professor Keast has described how fat meets the five criteria to be considered a taste, which includes that the tongue has taste buds that can detect the presence of fatty acids.
He said that they still had to put a lot more fat into the trials they did for people who were overweight or obese so that they were able to identify it, than healthy-weight people.
Keast said that one couldn't just "remove the fat from a food and replace the textural components and replace the flavour release and expect it to be successful because you haven't matched the taste component, which has all of these other physiological and psychological effects that will affect the liking and acceptance of the food."
The study is published in latest issue of the Flavour Journal.