What Makes People Like Different Foods?

 

The tip and sides of the tongue have lots of fungiform papillae, responsible for sensing the five different tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami. Different people have different numbers of these bumps, allowing them to be broadly separated into three groups: non-tasters, medium tasters and supertasters.

Supertasters can have as many as ten times more fungiform papillae than non-tasters, and as a result of this, are much more sensitive to flavour. They report that sweet foods taste sweeter and fatty foods taste creamier, and they often dislike the taste of bitter foods, such as broccoli, cabbage and brussel sprouts.

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