The taste bud was an organ on the tongue that mediated the sensation of taste with objects that come in contact with them, including food and beverages.

In 2151, Hoshi Sato considered scanning Malcolm Reed's taste buds to identify his favorite food but soon realized it would not work. Doctor Phlox told her that medically there was no accounting for taste. (ENT: "Silent Enemy")

In 2153, after hearing that Travis Mayweather preferred strawberry shortcake nutri-paks to real strawberry shortcake, she commented that the nutri-paks must have ruined his taste buds. (ENT: "Horizon")

Soon after first taking humanoid form, Odo tried to eat but found that his lack of taste buds made the experience very unsatisfying, and messy. (DS9: "Meridian")

In 2372, Kathryn Janeway commented in her captain's log that her taste buds were happy to have Tuvix around, as she found his cooking superior to Neelix's. (VOY: "Tuvix")

When Neelix transformed into a Mylean in 2374 due to Srivani experiments, he also lost his taste buds. He told Chakotay he'd gladly lose his hair if he could have his taste buds back. (VOY: "Scientific Method")

Later that year, when Seven of Nine was reluctant to begin sampling more "pungent" foods, Neelix told her that The Doctor had informed him that she had a full complement of taste buds, but she had hardly begun to use them. (VOY: "Mortal Coil")

While re-adjusting to her Humanity, Lyndsay Ballard was unable to enjoy her Jiballian berry salad, saying it had a metallic flavor. Ballard concluded that her taste buds must still be Kobali. (VOY: "Ashes to Ashes")

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