Thread: Ask a Scientist
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Old 19.02.2021, 16:17
Ace1 Ace1 is offline
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Re: Ask a Scientist

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Is everyone's sense of taste and smell exactly the same?
Almost certainly not - there are many flavours that some individuals can detect but others cannot. But it's confused by whether or not they're flavours you _like_, so one person's sensitivity to a particular flavour may, or may not, be due to them being more able to detect it.

There are some definitions out there, for example so-called 'supertasters' who have much more granularity and sensitivity, and there's some evidence of a correlation between them and their dislike of certain flavours. I may fall into that category, and am very averse to bitter flavours, which may be because for me they're much stronger than for others.

It's all very subjective though, only very specific aspects of it are measurable.

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For example, my other half absolutely loathes the taste and smell of coriander and can detect its presence in small concentrations in cooking
That's where things get more confusing. I can detect small amounts of it too, but unlike the bitter taste I previously mentioned it's not unpleasant to me.

I know a few people who are very sensitive to a "fishy" flavour, which I can never accurately detect or describe, e.g. my wife, who will happily eat tinned tuna, which is about as fishy as it gets to me, but is completely unable to stomach most other fish.

How much of these likes or dislikes stem from exposure and upbringing is unclear, but there is certainly a connection - you won't find many desert-island dwellers who dislike fish, for example.

But, it has to be said, anyone who doesn't like coriander is a heathen.

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