Washington: Our taste buds can recognize fat and some people may even have a preference for it due to variation in genes that can make certain persons more or less receptive to the taste of fat in foods.These findings were made in a study by researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.Investigators found that people with a particular variant of the CD36 gene are far more sensitive to the presence of fat than others.The researchers studied 21 people with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, which is considered to be obese. Some participants had a genetic variant that led to the production of more CD36 protein. Others made much less. And some were in between.Participants were asked to taste solutions from three different cups. One contained small amounts of a fatty oil. The other two contained solutions that were similar in texture to the oil but were fat-free. Subjects were asked to choose the cup that was different.“We did the same three-cup test several times with each subject to learn the thresholds at which individuals could identify fat in the solution,” said first author M. Yanina Pepino, PhD, research assistant professor of medicine.“If we had asked, ‘does it taste like fat to you?’ that could be very subjective. So we tried to objectively measure the lowest concentration of fat at which someone could detect a difference,” she said.
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