Well, as a PhD student in Food Science, it would be kinda weird right if i dont write something related to Food Science :D. I can assure you though that this really is an interesting subject, and it's not gonna be soooo academically informative.
I was in a seminar the other day when the Prof from Yale U gave a talk about 'Genetic variation in taste perception'. Woo woo woo, dont be scared! Im not gonna talk about that :D.There was one subject on her talk though that I really found interesting. ..'Supertaster'.
First of all, let me write a little bit about taste buds. Well, Taste buds detect the sweet, bitter, sour, and salty tastes in food. They can be found in the little bumps on our tongues, which are called fungiform papillae. As Food Science graduates, we were taught that taste buds are located around the rim of the tongues, but in fact, those taste buds are located all over our tongues not just the tip or the rim.
Now .. what is supertaster?
Some of you might have thought that the coffee is sooo bitter, ice-cream is so sickeningly sweet, and lemonade tastes so painfully sour. You can probably call yourself as supertasters.
Supertasters have more taste buds than most people because supertasters have more fungiform papillae on their tongues.
I am a supertaster!!!!!
Yeah .. during the seminar, we took a little test to see who were the supertesters. We had to place a piece of paper that was submerged in n-propylthiouracil. Because fungiform papillae of the supertasters are so sensitive with this chemical, after placing that piece of paper in the mouth, supertasters would taste unbelievably bitter taste, while normal tester would taste a little bit of the bitter taste, and nontester would taste nothing.
and I could taste an painfully bitter taste that I have never tasted in my entire life!!!
Now, that really explains a lot why I dont like bitter gourd (มะระ), I dont drink coffee (cos it's so bitter), I dont really like Soda (cos of its pungent acid feeling), and I sometimes think that Thai dessert are awfully sweet.
You can test if you are supertaster too!!
All you need is:
- Food coloring
- Cotton buds
- Reinforcement rings for hole-punched paper
- Magnifying glass
This is what you need to do:
- Using a cotton bud, swab some food coloring on to the tip of your tongue
- Place a reinforcement ring on your tongue
- Count the pink dots within the reinforcement ring. This may be easier with a magnifying glass
The pink dots are your fungiform papillae. They don't take up the food coloring. The more papillae you have, the more taste buds you have and the more sensitive to taste you are. On average, non-tasters have fewer than 15 papillae in that area, while supertasters have over 30.
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