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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1998 Nov 30;855:797-801.

Sensory responses to 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) or sucrose solutions and food preferences in young women.

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Human Nutrition Program, School of Public Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor 48109-2029, USA.


Genetic sensitivity to the bitter taste of 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) has been linked with a greater number of food aversions and reported rejection of some bitter foods. Healthy young women (n = 121) were divided into nontasters, tasters and supertasters of PROP according to their PROP detection thresholds and the ratio of intensity ratings of PROP versus NaCl solutions. Hedonic response profiles to sucrose solutions distinguished between likers and dislikers of sweet. All subjects completed a 171-item food preference checklist. Food preference data were reduced by factor analyses, subscales of which were tested for reliability using Cronbach's alpha. Greater PROP sensitivity was associated with lower acceptance of coffee, cruciferous vegetables, tart citrus fruit, dark breads, and selected fats. In contrast, liking for sucrose solutions was linked to liking for sugar in tea and coffee, but not to any special pattern of food acceptance. Strategies aimed at increasing the consumption of grains, vegetables, and fruit should consider the role of inherited taste makers and their potential impact on dietary habits.

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