Some people love tomatoes while others will simply say “yuck” when confronted with the plump red fleshy fruit. There is a simple explanation found in our complex coding.
According to the Mar. 19, Wall Street Journal, taste is a perception that is programmed in each of us – coded in our DNA.
Approximately 25% of the world’s population are “supertasters,” which means that they “get everything more intense,” says Linda Bartoshuk, a professor at the University of Florida Center for Smell and Taste.
According to Bartoshuk, a pioneer in the field of supertasting, “Supertasters live in a neon food world compared to the pastel food world everyone else lives in.”
A number of studies have been conducted on supertasters – some indicate being a supertaster has healthy benefits while others indicate there are negative consequences for having genetically coded supertasting abilities.
According to researchers, supertasters tend to be leaner. One study indicates that supertasters have fewer bacterial sinus infections. On the other hand, those with the heightened sense of taste, are more prone to colon cancer a recent study concludes.
What makes someone a supertaster? Typically, supertasters have “a higher density of fungiform papillae, mushroom-shaped projections on the tongue that contain taste buds.”
According to the WSJ, Bartoshuk says that more women have supertasting abilities than men. Asians and African-Americans tend to have the super-sensitive taste buds more than Caucasians. Also noted is a relatively high proportion of Chefs are supertasters.
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