Have you always been more sensitive to spicy or bitter foods? These traits are common in supertasters. “Supertaster” is a term for those who can taste foods stronger than the average person. To read more about this phenomenon and learn how to know you’re a supertaster, continue reading our blog.
What Makes Someone a Supertaster?
How do you tell the difference between someone who doesn’t like certain flavors versus someone with super tastebuds? First, it’s important to note that taste and flavor are different things. While a person may have flavor preferences, the sensation of taste is a much more biological reaction.
When we taste foods, our taste buds interact with food molecules and communicate with the brain as we eat. Supertasters have more taste buds than the average person, which means their taste perception is much more precise and intense.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 25 percent of the global population are supertasters. Those who are supertasters are born with their tasting abilities, and this trait passes from parents to children genetically.
Supertasters are most sensitive to bitter foods, including spinach, broccoli, and brussels sprouts.
The Taste Test
Here’s how to know you’re a supertaster. First, take a clean sheet of wax paper and use a hole puncher to cut out a circular ring. Next, grab a bright food coloring dye and place one droplet on the tip of your tongue. Once you’ve applied the color, close your mouth and swallow several times until your mouth feels dry.
Once your mouth is dry, take your sheet of wax paper and hover it over the tip of your tongue. The colored dye should have more clearly outlined each of your tastebuds. Finally, count how many tastebuds you find within the circular ring. If you see 30 or more tastebuds, you are a supertaster.
- 30 or more taste buds
- 15 to 30 taste buds
- Less than 15 taste buds
With great tasting power comes great tasting responsibilities. Supertasters’ advanced perception of food and bitter tastes can be both a blessing and a curse. While some foods may seem more revolting, other sweet and salty tastes are more intensely enjoyable. If other people have labeled you a picky eater your whole life, try this assessment to put your tastebuds to the test.