A bitter warning
Scientists believe the bitter taste sense developed to help animals detect toxins or poisons in food. But not everyone can taste the same things. Find out more about your own taste buds and bitterness in food by purchasing this genetic report.
Biology of taste
Taste buds are covered with tiny molecular sensors, called "taste receptors," that specialize in detecting the five basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami (a savory, meat-like taste). The types of taste receptors you have determine what tastes you can, or cannot, detect in foods. Some vegetables, like broccoli and brussels sprouts, contain naturally bitter chemicals. Scientists think some people may be unable to detect these bitter chemicals based on what taste receptors they have.
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