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Spice Testing - How Super-tasters Help In Knowing Spice Levels

A supertaster will experience more intense flavors than your average person. Being a supertaster is not as uncommon as you think, and you might be one too. According to the National Institute of Health (https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics), 25 percent of people in the United States are supertasters, and 25 percent are non-tasters. Non-tasters are the exact opposite of a supertaster. People indeed have a unique sense of taste, and they might not enjoy eating vegetables the way you do. But the people that are more sensitive to taste than others are the supertasters.  

Are supertasters sensitive to all flavors or just certain ones? Supertasters are extremely sensitive to the bitter chemical found in foods called 6-n-propylthiouracil, or PROP. This is used to detect a supertaster. A pro to being a supertaster is that many restaurants are in search of someone sensitive to tastes because of its advantageous qualities. That being said, if you are a supertaster looking for a job or someone looking to hire a supertaster, BCJobs is the best place to start. In this article, we will tell you all you need to know about supertasters and the many qualities of a supertaster that helps them identify spice levels. 

Characteristics of a supertaster

An average person's taste buds can detect five primary flavors: sweet, salt, bitter, sour, and umami. Supertasters are more sensitive to bitter flavors. The more sensitive taste buds they have, the more intense flavors will be for them. There is a possibility that taste buds can detect fats, but further research is needed to prove this theory. The tongue of a supertaster contains visibly more papillae (the tiny projections on the tongue that contain taste buds) compared to average tasters or non-tasters who can't detect PROP at all. They're more likely to consider spicy food painful to taste since pain receptors are a part of the taste cells on the papillae. More papillae on the tongue equal more pain receptors.

Ways to distinguish between supertaster or regular taster

There's no definite way to determine if you're a supertaster; however, there are some indications you can watch out for. For instance, supertasters cannot tolerate the intensity of sugar, fatty foods, or bitter foods like kale, beer, coffee, dry wine, or broccoli. If you find one of those vegetables too bitter to eat or difficulty tolerating tea or coffee, you might be a supertaster. Masking the taste of certain foods with salt or sugar is another indication. Spicy, fatty, and sugary foods will make you uncomfortable, and you will want to reject consuming them. Finally, if you're often told you're a picky eater, there's a chance it's not in your hands to choose what to eat, and you have the qualities of a supertaster.

Covering up bitter flavors with foods like salt

As mentioned before, the taste of bitterness can be overwhelmingly intense for supertasters. They usually try to compensate for or mask the intensity of the flavor by adding other foods to it. The foods may include salt, sugar, or even fat. These are excellent methods to mask bitterness and have always been an effective way to eliminate the intensity of the bitterness that comes from vegetables like broccoli. It is unclear which of the methods is the standard go-to for supertasters. Supertasters may even avoid flavors like sweet and fatty foods because of their dense, extra-sensitive taste buds are heightened due to these flavors. Therefore foods that are not even bitter may be deemed unpalatable for them. Additionally, they love putting salt on foods and may keep a salt shaker handy on them to sprinkle over things like grapefruit or salad dressings to mask the taste of bitterness from the greens.

Things to watch out for

As a supertaster, your sensitivity to bitterness may be advantageous at times. However, you must understand that you still need some vegetables regardless of how bitter they are because they are crucial. Disliking the flavor of bitter vegetables may prevent you from giving your body all the vitamins and minerals it needs. It could also mean you're not getting enough fiber which could lead to digestive problems or colon cancer, so try to compensate for that through other methods. Another thing to watch out for is excess salt since supertasters use plenty of salt to mask the bitterness in their food. This could eventually lead to high blood pressure or heart disease unless regulated.

In conclusion
Supertasters have sensitive taste buds, so flavors, in general, will be more overpowering for them. They have a specific sensitivity to bitterness which prevents them from the likeness of vegetables like kale and broccoli, tea, and wine. They are least likely to become alcoholics because of their distaste for alcoholic beverages. However, the lack of greens in their diet can mean a deficiency, and health issues may come their way if they do not compensate for those nutrients with the required foods. Supertasters will mask the flavor of unpleasant bitter foods with salt since the overbearing feeling of bitterness makes them uncomfortable.


We hope this article has helped you understand supertasters and their sensitivity to spice levels. Thank you for reading!