Detection thresholds for each of the four basic taste qualities were obtained from 81 adults between 23 and 88 years of age. Sodium chloride thresholds show a small but significant increase with age, confirming the only previous observations derived from procedures that control for age-related changes in response criterion and salivary sodium. Quinine sulfate thresholds display a similar but weaker relation to age. Sucrose and citric acid thresholds are not significantly related to age. Citric acid alone shows a sex effect. Detection thresholds for the four taste qualities undergo different changes with age.