[NAFEX] Fwd: Super Tasters

Stephen Sadler Docshiva at Docshiva.org
Tue Oct 4 15:48:52 EDT 2005

I don't remember which compound we used to test supertasters back at
college, but we would put a drop on snips of paper.  Subjects would hold the
paper against their tongues and describe the flavor.  The substance I was
thinking of would register as flavorless, mildly pleasant, or mildly
unpleasant, all the way up to "Yecch!! Are you trying to poison me?  What is
this, lye??""  I'm in the last group.  


I think there's more to tasting (we're not talking about aromatic flavors,
just the five basic tastes) than just number of taste buds, although that
correlates extremely well; I think there may be functional differences as
well.  Supertasters will tend to strongly dislike some foods (most cannot
stand the bitterness of any sugar substitute), and some are very fussy
eaters.  Others, perhaps most, take strong pleasure in flavor (while still
rejecting some flavors others find innocuous).  A very high percentage of
chefs are supertasters.  Many supertasters tend to like spicy foods.  


In my case there are flavors that I find overly sweet, that others like.
There is one component in grapefruit (I think it's what we used for that
test) that tastes poisonously bitter to me, but I love the other flavors
(hence my search for Lavender Gem to grow, a truly sweet graefruity
tangelolo).  I hate milk chocolate, love very dark (so some bitters I like
just fine).   


It wouldn't surprise me to find a high concentration of supertasters here.
As a group, we tend to be flavor-seekers.


Stephen Sadler, Ph.D.

USDA 9, AHS heat zone 8, 

Sacramento CA - Mediterranean climate


From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Lon J. Rombough
Sent: Tuesday, October 04, 2005 12:31 PM
Subject: [NAFEX] Fwd: Super Tasters


>From another list. Considering how important taste is in fruit, it seemed
fitting for the NAFEX list.
-Lon Rombough
Grapes, writing, consulting, my book, The Grape Grower, at
http://www.bunchgrapes.com Winner of the Garden Writers Association "Best
Talent in Writing" award for 2003.

I was just having a discussion with a family member about grape taste. The 
cannot stand to eat grape seeds when sampling fresh grapes in the vineyard. 
On the
other hand, I can with little problem. She claims that the taste of the 
crushed seed is
just too powerful.

There has been an hour long radio program about a scientist studying taste 
buds on
humans. The program is somewhere on the Minnesota Public Radio Archive 
the last two months. The program gave advice about how to do an 
unscientific survey
at home to tell where you fall for # of tastebuds- the more you have the 
more you taste.
You take either a green or blue food dye and place it on your tongue. They 
said that
the tastebuds will reject the color, so you should be able to see them. The 
less color the
front of your tongue has, the more tastebuds you have. You will need to 
compare your
tongue to a few other people's using the same test. Within a small 
population you should
be able to tell where you fall among tasters: super tasters, normal, or 
Finding equally crazy people to go through with the test could be hardest 

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/private/nafex/attachments/20051004/8399d2d0/attachment.html 

More information about the nafex mailing list