Validation of edible taste strips for identifying PROP taste recognition thresholds

Authors


  • This work was supported by NIDCD 2R44 DC007291 and by a contract awarded to Richard C. Gershon from the institutes and centers that form the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research (The NIH Toolbox for Neurological and Behavioral Function, contract No. HHS-N-260-2006-00007-C). The authors have no other funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis:

The purpose of this study was to validate the use of edible taste strips for measuring taste recognition thresholds for the bitter-tasting compound 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP).

Study Design:

Taste recognition thresholds for PROP were obtained by two separate methods. Thresholds were also identified in subjects whose airflow through the nose was blocked. Threshold values were then compared to genotype analysis of the TAS2R38 taste receptor, which is the major determinant for the detection of PROP.

Methods:

Edible taste strips were used to examine taste recognition thresholds for PROP. Thresholds were determined by the method of ascending limits and by the method of reversals. Single nucleotide polymorphism analysis of the TAS2R38 gene was used to identify PROP taster status.

Results:

Taste recognition thresholds for PROP formed two distributions. Thresholds for one group varied from 4 to 219 nmol and represented PROP tasters. The second group could not detect the bitter taste of PROP at ≤800 nmol and represented PROP nontasters. The method of ascending limits and the method of reversals yielded similar threshold results. The expression of a PAV allele permitted detection of PROP, but AVI homozygotes could not detect the bitter taste of PROP.

Conclusions:

Edible taste strips were successfully used to detect PROP thresholds at values equal to or lower than those obtained in previous studies using PROP solutions or PROP-impregnated filter papers. This study provides validity evidence for the use of edible taste strips for identifying PROP in the human population.

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