Bitter Taste Perception

Genetic sensitivity to the bitter tasting 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) is thought to be a genetic marker for food preferences and dietary choices that ultimately influence body weight. The data collected provide evidence that genetic differences in taste as determined by 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) screening are associated with differences in food preferences and body weight in both adults and children. Individuals who are PROP non-tasters have higher fat intake and body weights than those who are PROP sensitive. Results from this project show that the inherited ability to taste the bitter compound 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) serves as a genetic taste marker for fat intake and body weight. Screening for PROP status may be useful in epidemiological studies as a predictive marker for obesity, and other chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.


Beverly Tepper
Department of Food Sciences

  1. Rutgers
  2. Executive Dean of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  3. School of Environmental and Biological Sciences