Some bitterness, not everyone can taste it.
Some bitterness, not everyone can taste it.
Can you taste the bitterness of kale?

it tastes bitter, and not everyone can taste it.

in 1931, chemist Arthur Fox (Arthur Fox) accidentally discovered this. At the time, he was experimenting with a compound called phenylthiourea (PTC), which accidentally let the fine powder float into the air. The colleague next to him complained that he felt the bitterness from the inhaled powder, but Fox himself didn't know it (he should have been exposed to more doses if he was standing closer). He then conducted a test among his relatives and friends and found that not everyone could taste the bitterness.

after that, more and more studies have found that there are considerable differences in people's feelings of bitterness. Some people are "taste blind" who are very slow to it, relatively more people have moderate sensory ability, while a small number of people are very sensitive to the bitterness.

people have conducted various taste experiments with phenylthiourea and a similar bitter substance propylthiouracil (PROP) (the latter is now used because it is safer). It was found that this difference in bitterness perception was common and was clearly related to genetic differences. Overall, about 70% of people are easy to taste the bitterness of this substance, and the remaining 30% are "taste blind" of this bitter taste. However, this is actually a very rough figure, and there are many differences in this proportion among different groups of people. These taste differences are related to the genetic differences of bitter taste receptor TAS2R38. Of course, taste sensitivity is also affected by acquired factors, such as smoking.

neither of the two substances mentioned above has much to do with people's lives, but there is another class of substances (and their degradation products) that have a similar bitter chemical structure. These substances are glucosinolates (Glucosinolates), which are found in vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, and are closely related to people's lives this time. People show similar differences in taste perception on these vegetables. Some studies have found that people who are sensitive in the bitterness tests of PTC and PROP are also more likely to feel the bitterness of vegetables, which also affects people's food choices.

(glucosinolates in vegetables)

in the natural environment, bitterness sensitivity is protective and can help us avoid some toxic substances. Today, when you only eat cultivated vegetables every day and are not easily poisoned, being highly sensitive to bitterness is not necessarily a good thing for your health: such people may eat less food or need more sugar to cover up the bitterness of the food.

do you find these vegetables bitter? I don't seem to feel it. I think Brussels sprouts are especially delicious. The cover is very delicious Brussels sprouts.

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PS: it seems that many discoveries in the early years began with laboratory hand slips /accidents.


read more: is there really such a thing as "opening taste buds"? Read the original text to learn more about taste.