Validation of edible taste strips for assessing PROP taste perception

Gregory Smutzer*, Hetvi Desai, Susan E. Coldwell, James W. Griffith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


A novel delivery method is described that incorporates taste stimuli into edible strips for determining n-propylthiouracil (PROP) taster status. Edible strips that contained 400 or 600 nanomoles of PROP were prepared forpsychophysical studies. Using these strips, we measured taste intensity, taste hedonics, and taste quality responses in a sample of healthy volunteers(n = 118). Participants were also asked to assess a single NaCl strip, a quinine strip, 3 NaCl solutions, and 3 PROP solutions. All psychophysical data were subsequently analyzed as a function of TAS2R38 genotype. The use of PROP strips for distinguishing between individuals with at least 1 PAV allele and individuals with other genotypes was assessed and compared with the use of PROP solutions for making this same distinction. For the 2 PROP strips and PROP solutions, individuals who expressed at least 1 PAV allele could perceive the bitter taste of PROP. Individuals who expressed 2 AVI alleles responded similarly to 400 nanomole PROP strips and blank strips. Furthermore, individuals with 2 AVI alleles responded to 0.032 and 0.32 mM PROP solutions at intensities that were similar to water, though intensity ratingsto 3.2 mM PROP solution exceeded water. In general, those with at least 1 PAV allele rated the bitter taste of PROP as unpleasant in both delivery methods (strips or solutions). Psychophysical data from PROP strips and solutions were consistent with TAS2R38 genotype. These results support the validity of edible taste strips as a method for assessing PROP taste perception in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-539
Number of pages11
JournalChemical Senses
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Bitter taste
  • Gustation
  • NIH Toolbox
  • PROP
  • Taste blindness
  • Taste strip
  • Taste test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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