Have you ever wondered why you like certain foods, and dislike others? Or why you think some recipes are inedible while others seem to enjoy the taste? Baring the cultural aspect, a lot of it comes down to how you perceive the smell of the foods.
All of us, at some point, have disagreed on what a particular food tastes or smells like (think coriander, durian, wine). And while you might think that the other person might be mistaken or have a poorly developed sense of smell, sensory scientists at The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research have dissected some of the genetics behind flavour preferences and shown that we all live in our own unique world when it comes to odour perception.
A pair of studies published by Sara Jaeger, Jeremy McRae, Richard Newcomb and colleagues published in an August edition of journal Current Biology identified the genetic variations that underpin the differences in smell sensitivity and perception between individuals, which explain some of the reasons why people appear to have ‘blind spots’ in their tasting abilities. Continue reading