Broccoli reportedly tastes differently, all depending on whether you are Chinese or Danish

Broccoli reportedly tastes differently, all depending on whether you are Chinese or Danish. Photo: Sophia Juliane Lydolph / Ritzau Scanpix

New studies from the University of Copenhagen (KU) suggests that Chinese people experience the bitter flavor more strongly than Danish people and bitter flavors such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and dark chocolate do not taste the same way to the two nations.

Wender Bredie, Professor at the Department of Food Science at the University of Copenhagen says, “Our studies show that the vast majority of Chinese test persons are more sensitive to bitter flavors than the Danish”.

The two studies have tested 152 participants’ sensitivity to bitter flavors, by letting them taste the bitter substance 6-n-propylthiouracil, also called Prop. 75 of the test participants were Danish, while 77 came from China. The result was that the Danish participants did not taste bitter flavors as strongly as the Chinese participants.

In addition, with the help of the Department of Computer Science in Copenhagen, the tips of the participants’ tongues were examined. By taking a picture and running it through artificial intelligence it was possible to map out the fungiform papillae on the tongue. Papillae that sit at the front of the tongue contain a large part of our taste buds. Wender Bredit said, “We see a connection between how strongly you taste bitter substances and how many of the small buds called papillae you have on the tongue.

He emphasizes, however, that a larger number of tongues must be examined in order to be able to conclude with certainty that there is a very general difference between Danes and Chinese tongues.

The research is based on support from, among others, the Danish company Arla Foods and according to Wender Bredie, the research can be very useful for food producers. He explains that the studies can be used to focus a food product on a specific continent and that it is important for food producers in a globalized world to know the different perceptions of food in different ethnic groups. That knowledge can be used to develop products that suit preferences in the groups.

Source: Nord Jyske

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