That’s the blog title I had in mind, planning to write about ‘hazelnut, pistachio, etc. But on this Tuesday morning, I watched the covid numbers in NYC go up. Again. And losing taste and smell is a symptom of this pandemic disease. So researching the impact of taste and smell, and whether or not you could regain these two senses was my goal.
Most likely you already enjoyed the taste and scent of culinary argan oil; its golden color; that’s a topic we have blogged about many times and will do again at the end of 2020. So this blog will be about Covid-19’s impact on smell and taste.
How covid limits taste and smell?
693 million hits on Covid, taste, and smell. And that’s just on one search engine…Luckily – or fortunately -not a native speaker 🙂 – I learned loss of taste and smell through Covid is almost always temporary; can vary from days to months.
A few weeks ago, Nature Research published ‘Smell and taste changes are early indicators of the COVID-19 pandemic and political decision effectiveness’ A team of researchers concluded: ‘Here, we show that self-reports of smell/taste changes are more closely associated with hospital overload and are earlier markers of the spread of infection of SARS-CoV-2 than current governmental indicators.
We also report a decrease in self-reports of new-onset smell/taste changes as early as 5 days after lockdown enforcement. Cross-country comparisons demonstrate that countries that adopted the most stringent lockdown measures had faster declines in new reports of smell/taste changes following lockdown than a country that adopted less stringent lockdown measures.
We propose that an increase in the incidence of sudden smell and taste change in the general population may be used as an indicator of COVID-19 spread in the population’. Read more here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-18963-y
For the latest scientific research on ‘all things Covid-19’, check out JAMA:
Want to participate in a Covid related taste and smell survey? Anonymous, takes 10-15 minutes. Check out this link: https://psusensory.compusensecloud.com/edu/showtest.aspx
The GCCR is a group of 600 scientists, clinicians, and patient advocates across 50 countries founded in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. GCCR‘s goal is to collect evidence-based information to combat the spread of COVID-19.
For more information about this study, please contact Dr. John Hayes at Penn State University (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Or prefer a self-check?
In Germany, scientists Prof.Dr. Niko Busch and Dr. Katarin Ohla created the website https://www.riech-check.de, with a self-check for taste and smell. The websites intro: ‘The ability to smell, taste and the sensitivity to irritation in the nose and mouth can be impaired for various reasons – for example, in respiratory diseases by cold viruses and also by the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV2; CoViD-19) or even by completely different diseases.
We would like to investigate how these senses fluctuate over time. The results will help to assess whether the senses are more or less affected in COVID-19 than in other diseases and healthy people.
Please read the information sheet on the study carefully. Among other things, it contains important information on data protection’.
But why not do a test together with children?
Our senses are developed from childhood, Do you know OLogy? It’s the science website for children from the American Museum of Natural History. They list a variety of tests, games and stories on their website: https://www.amnh.org/explore/ology/search/(keyword)/taste Or jump right into a smell test: https://www.amnh.org/explore/ology/brain/taste-a-smell-test2
Get to know ‘Some of the Best Taste Centers in the world’ is what we typed in as a Google search. Below the result of the search; surprise, surprise WINC, a California winery, tops the list. Most likely great SEO/AdWords?
Our surprise: Where’s Monell? Or the University of Pennsylvania?
About Us: ‘The Monell Center (https://monell.org) is the world’s only independent, non-profit scientific institute dedicated to interdisciplinary basic research on the senses of taste and smell. At Monell, world-class scientists are unlocking some of the most fundamental mysteries of what makes us human. How do we use our chemical senses to communicate?
What are the cellular underpinnings of taste and smell that contribute to the difference between lifelong health and chronic disease? How do our chemical senses shape human nutrition? Which genes are responsible?
Monell scientists are at the forefront of discovery, exploring the science of taste and smell from multiple perspectives. Our work answers pressing questions about health, behavior, and the environment that we couldn’t even foresee a decade ago.’
Anosmia is the clinical term for the inability to smell. Launched in 2014, the Monell Anosmia Project seeks to better understand the underlying causes of anosmia and develop effective treatments, and increase awareness.
Most recently, Monell has become involved globally in the chemosensory aspects of COVID-19 research, including sudden smell loss as a primary symptom. ‘Please visit our COVID-19 Resources page to learn more about our efforts during this worldwide health crisis and read more about our current anosmia research in general’.
February 27th is Anosmia Awareness Day. An initiative of Daniel Schein, the founder of Anosmia Awareness (http://anosmiaawareness.org)
Rhinology and Olfactory are the scientific names for ‘nose’, and ‘smell’. And yes, I know it’s a very simple statement… Looking for the Latin word for taste: Custom.Good luck finding articles or organizations with that name. You found more than 10 relevant ‘Gustum’ information? Let us know and we will send the first 3 respondents in the USA or the Netherlands a free bottle of our oil.
More organizations with a focus to further awareness about smell loss and advocate for more research:
The University of Pennsylvania Smell and Taste Center was founded in 1980 as the first NIH-funded Clinical Research Center in the United States devoted to the senses of taste and smell, and has achieved worldwide prominence for both its research and clinical activities. Read more here: https://www.med.upenn.edu/smellandtastecenter/ or, for what they do on research: Research | Smell, and Taste Center | Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Abscent (https://abscent.org) Absent is a UK based charity platform for anosmia support. ‘A group of people with a common purpose. We’re working together to raise public awareness of smell loss and make a difference to the thousands of people who have this life-changing condition’.
Absent’s website has sections about smell loss, insights, training, and research. Their Covid-19 page lists advice from Public Health England and the NHS. Highly recommended is the NoseWell section, an information guide.
FifthSense (https://fifthsense.org.uk) Is also a UK based charity, supporting smell and taste disorder sufferers, providing a signpost to potential diagnosis and treatment. FifthSense features a SmellAbility Toolbox. And of course: a section on Covid-19 research.
Covid-19 and consumers. Every day we at Culinary Argan Oil receive lots of emails from data platforms sharing infographics, trends, etc, for B2B, DTC on the effect Covid-19 has on consumers. I’m sure you get a lot of those as well.
Just this morning we received two, from market research companies First: ‘GlobalWebIndex’ this email: “Dear Wim. The coronavirus is throwing business plans out the window. We’re all learning to navigate this new world – and need to refocus business strategies if we’re to reach the right way.
To help you, we’ve been running dedicated, global studies to shine a light on how consumer behaviors and attitudes are impacted by COVID-19. We’re giving away all of this research for free in one place to support you through this”.
The second company: ‘digitalcommerce360’, provides webinar info on ‘Best Practices in Retaining Customers in the Age of Covid’. Below is the link to the replay of this webinar you may find of interest: https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/webinar/360-ecommerce-chat-its-all-about-the-experience-best-practices-in-retaining-customers-in-the-age-of-covid/#register