Tasting Ability and Race

In Uncategorized on June 25, 2011 at 11:45 pm

In 2001, the NIDCD Epidemiology and Bio-statistics Program released this graph outlining the association between ability to taste the bitter substance, PTC ( phenylthiocarbamide) and race.

It’s a fascinating study, but what’s most interesting is the correlation between spiciness of food and percentage of non-tasters in a culture. India, possibly the culture most famous for its use of spice, rates high in percentage of non-tasters. North American Native food places much less emphasis on spice and additional flavorings and rates low on percentage of non-tasting members. It doesn’t correlate exactly, but I would theorize this is because the more sensitive a person is to taste, the less spice they would require/tolerate/prefer.

Unfortunately, Japan, whose heavy cultural emphasis on food appearance, texture and heat has fascinated me for some time now, isn’t included in the study.


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