Human definitions of sour taste in food depend more on nature than nurture, found scientists at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia.
Genes play a large role in determining individual differences in sour-taste perception, and the findings may identify the still-elusive taste receptor that detects sourness in foods and beverages, just as recent gene studies helped uncover receptors for sweet and bitter taste.
"Demonstrating a genetic component to individual differences in sour taste is the first step in pinpointing the genes that determine sensitivity," study lead author Paul M. Wise, a Monell sensory psychologist, said in a statement. "The products of those genes, in turn, are likely to be involved in sour taste perception."
The study, published online in advance of print in the journal Chemical Senses, tested 74 pairs of identical twins and 35 pairs of fraternal twins.
The findings, in conjunction with previous work on sweet, bitter, and umami -- savory -- taste, suggest the differences in how people perceive the taste of foods is based on genetic factors. Wise suggests this information may be used to help encourage healthy eating by manipulating the taste of individual diets.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Temmuz 2007, 12:57