Why Does Food Taste Good for Some and Bad for Others?

Why Does Food Taste Good for Some and Bad for Others?

Some people have a large number of papillae (a bump containing taste buds) on their tongue, and some flavors seem excessive to these people. These “super sensitive” people put milk in their coffee and order their meals without any spice or pain. On the other hand, “less sensitive” people have low papillae density and they say their chicken wings are “too spicy”. However, the papilla is not the only determinant of personal taste. It also has to do with the ability of our taste buds to detect different molecules. Although our brains recognize the same five tastes (bitter, sweet, salty, sour, and umami), the chemicals these signals trigger vary from person to person. Geneticist Alexander Bachmanov, who works at the Monell Chemical Sense Center in Philadelphia, USA, says that 20 to 40 of people’s genes are solely related to pain receptors. The varying sensitivity to pain may have resulted from evolutionary pressures in different parts of the world. Many poisonous plants taste bitter, and nomadic communities encountering such plants may have developed a set of receptors over time. For example, people in areas where malaria is common in the world are not as sensitive as other people to certain bitter compounds, especially those containing cyanide. Researchers think that low levels of cyanide kill malaria parasites while not harming the individual. Juyun Lim, who studies the senses in the Department of Food Science at Oregon State University, says we have an innate instinct to avoid bitterness and certain smells: “Most people don’t like beer the first time they drink it.”

Source: https://popsci.com.tr/

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