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What is Taste Test

Taste Test is based on 80 years of psycho-sensory research, undertaken by some of the most interesting scientists of the last century.

The 1930s: Bitter or Tasteless
The story starts in 1931 when A.L. Fox (Arthur to his friends), an American chemist, discovered that some individuals found a compound called phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) to be bitter while others found it tasteless. At the 1931 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Fox collaborated with Albert Blakeslee (a geneticist) to organise an experiment where attendees tasted PTC: 65% found it bitter, 28% found it tasteless and 6% described other taste qualities. Subsequent work revealed that the ability to taste PTC was genetic in nature.

Albert and Arthur’s 1932 paper "Our different taste worlds" was pioneering for its time and sets out the idea that we all have different sensitivity to bitterness and that this fact can be simply assessed. This was the start of the scientific discoveries that led to Taste Test by Bibendum!

1960-1993: PROP and Supertasters
In the 1960s, Roland Fischer was the first to link the ability to taste PTC, and the related compound propylthiouracil (PROP), to food preference and body type. Subsequent to this, no-one really picked up on the idea in earnest until Linda Bartoshuk's ground-breaking 1993 work "The biological basis of food perception and acceptance." Bartoshuk’s work with PROP brought the phrases 'taster', 'super-taster' and 'non-taster' to a wider audience, including – for the first time – the wine industry in the form of Tim Hanni MW.