What It Means To Be A Supertaster

In the latest episode of SciShow, host Michael Aranda explains what a supertaster is and how one is able to determine if they are indeed so genetically inclined.

It’s a genetically-inherited trait — and dominant, meaning that only one parent has to have the supertasting allele, or version of the gene, for their child to feel its effects. If the kid gets one copy of the allele, they’re what’s called a medium taster, with a slightly higher sensitivity. With two copies, they’re a true supertaster. It’s difficult to measure taste sensitivity, and scientists still aren’t totally clear how taste is read by the brain, but we do know that super-tasters exist because they can taste things others can’t — especially bitter substances — and they have up to twice the number of taste buds as average tasters. …But it’s not just bitter substances; many supertaster also can’t stand the taste of overly sweet things like ice cream or acidic drinks like coffee. The sensory overload on the taste buds is just too much.