The mere idea of eating spinach, broccoli, arugula or Brussels sprouts can make some people cringe. But would they give these vegetables and additional nose-wrinkling foods another chance if the bitterness were toned down or removed? Scientists are working on a so-called “bitter blocker” that could make these foods and some medicines more palatable to those who are sensitive to such flavors.
Scientists at the Givaudan Flavors Corporation in Ohio have developed an enhanced “bitterness blocker” called GIV3616. Added to food, it zones in on specific taste buds and prevents them from recognizing bitter tastes. “Sensitivity to many foods is partly due to genetics,” said Ioana Ungureanu, a researcher for Givaudan, in a press release. “Recent studies have estimated that a large portion of the population—almost 25%, or 75 million people—are known as ‘supertasters’ who have heightened sensitivity to bitter foods. Our compound could one day make supertasters’ coffee more smooth or their veggies more appetizing.”
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