Are You a Supertaster? Take a Supertaster Test
July 13, 2010
There are three main ways to test if one is a super taster – count taste buds or consume two products.
As I mentioned before, supertasters have more fungiform papillae type taste buds, which makes them a little more sensitive when tasting. These taste buds can be counted by swabbing your tongue with a cotton ball with blue food coloring. The fungiform papillae will not turn blue, but instead remain pink. From there, take a piece of paper with a hole cut out of it and count how many pink spots you see in that hole. Supertasters will have more than 30 papillae in that area. BBC Science and Nature shows a good example of this demonstration.
Another easy test to conduct is a Saccharin Test. Take one packet of saccharin (Sweet’N Low) and combine it with two-thirds of a cup of water, and then taste it. For some, there will be a dominate sweet taste, indicating that they are an undertaster, while others will notice a dominate bitter taste, indicating they are a supertaster. Those who find balance between sweet and bitter are regular tasters.
The last test is to consume PROP, which will be violently bitter to supertasters, bitter to regular tasters, and tasteless to undertasters.
I highly recommend reading wine critic Mike Steinberger’s journey to find out that he was one of the 5% of nontasters (not a supertaster) who could taste PROP. This resulted in more testing.