Genetic taste markers and food preferences
Sommaire de l'article
Sensitivity to the bitter taste of 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) is an inherited trait. Although some people find PROP to be extremely bitter, others cannot distinguish PROP solutions from plain water. In a series of studies, greater PROP sensitivity was linked with lower acceptability of other bitter compounds and with lower reported liking for some bitter foods. Women, identified as "super-tasters" of PROP, had lower acceptance scores for grapefruit juice, green tea, Brussels sprouts, and some soy products. Many of these foods contain bitter phytochemicals with reputed cancer-protective activity. These include flavonoids in citrus fruit, polyphenols in green tea and red wine, glucosinolates in cruciferous vegetables, and isoflavones in soy products. Consumer acceptance of these plant-based foods may depend critically on inherited taste factors. This review examines the role of genetic taste markers in determining taste preferences and food choices.