What does PTC mean in journalism

Bitter not always bitter

Smell and taste are the most important senses with which we perceive the aroma of food. What we smell and taste, however, is individually different. Dr. Maik Behrens, scientist at the German Institute for Human Nutrition (DIfE) Potsdam-Rehbrücke, researches the bitter taste. "There are 25 receptor genes in over 100 different variants in human taste cells," he reported at the IIR "Aromas" conference in Cologne. It can be assumed that these bitter receptors are distributed differently over humanity. "We should hardly taste bitter straight away," said Behrens. This could also have consequences for eating habits. Cabbage vegetables, for example, contain the bitter substance phenylethyl isothiocyanate, which is very similar to a classic test substance PTC. Half of the people are so-called »PTC-tasters«, for them this substance triggers the maximum bitter taste. The other 50 percent of the population lacks the corresponding bitter receptor, they can only perceive PTC very weakly. As Behrens reported, it is believed that PTC tasters have an advantage in areas with insufficient iodine supply. This is because they eat fewer cabbage vegetables, which means they take in fewer goiter-promoting substances and consequently have a lower risk of thyroid disease. In areas with an adequate iodine supply, however, PTC tasters are at a disadvantage in terms of health if they generally eat fewer vegetables due to the strong perception of bitter substances. However, the tolerance of the bitter taste increases with age, Behrens noted. Children would have a natural aversion to bitter substances - a protective mechanism because many toxic substances taste bitter. Only in the course of life do they learn that not all bitter foods are poisonous and they easily tolerate bitter foods. aid / ND

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