Genetic Taste Tests and What They Tell You

Many human traits are determined by a single pair of alleles. An allele is an alternative form of a gene, located at a specific position on a specific chromosome. These DNA codings determine distinct traits that can be passed on from parents to offspring.

There are tons of fun, easy studies you can do for various genetic traits, like tongue rolling, attached earlobes, interlocking fingers, dimpled cheeks, and a widow’s peak, but our favorite is the taste test.

PTC Taste Test

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PTC is the most common taste test, and although its safety is sometimes questioned, we’re here to tell you that our PTC test paper is absolutely harmless. We would never tell you to put an unsafe test strip in your mouth. We’re not the Wicked Witches of the West over here, although if you’re a supertaster, you might disagree with that statement. But if you still question its safety, you can check out our SDS to put your worries at ease.

PTC tastes bland, bitter or even vile depending on your genes. There is a single gene that codes for a protein found in our tongues. PTC will bind with the protein if it’s present, and you will certainly be able to taste it. However, if the protein is not present, the PTC will not bind and you won’t taste anything.

The ability to taste PTC is a dominant trait, so you’re in the majority if you’ve got it. A special congrats to all of you supertasters out there who taste these bitter compounds even more intensely. As for the rest of you, your bitter blindness isn’t debilitating; it just means you can’t taste certain bitter flavors.

Supertasters are more likely to find green vegetables bitter, like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale. Don’t you wish you had known this as a kid?! “Sorry mom, I’m a supertaster, this broccoli just won’t do.” Oh how different life could’ve been.