The relationship between individual differences in taste perception and personality dimensions has not been thoroughly examined. The genetically determined sensitivity to certain bitter tastes, such as PROP and PTC, is one of the most studied individual differences in humans. It is in part explained from genotypic variation of TAS2R38 gene, but others factors including personal characteristics could be involved. Our study aimed to analyse the possible relationship between personality traits, PROP bitterness and food preferences. We report data obtained from a total of ~700 healthy individuals (aged 18-76) coming from 6 different small villages in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region in northern Italy. PROP taste phenotype was determined using a method previously described (Zhao et al, 2003). Individuals completed also a food preferences questionnaire on different foods, rating their liking of each item on a 9-point scale ranging from “like extremely” to “dislike extremely”. Standardized questionnaires were administered to characterize subjects on selected personality traits (Temperament and Character Inventory – TCI) and alexithymia (Toronto Alexithymia Scale – TAS-20), a personality construct characterized by an impaired ability to identify, differentiate and describe feelings and to distinguish between feelings and bodily sensations of emotional arousal. Regression analysis detected an association between PROP intensity and alexithymia (TAS Total score), such that high alexithymic individuals showed a reduced PROP responsiveness (p-value=0.0147). Furthermore, these same subjects exhibited a statistically significant lower preference for specific foods, including broccoli, red radish, artichokes, black olives, fava beans. Our results suggest that bitter taste perception and food preferences could be modulated by difficulty in distinguishing and describing feelings and emotional responses to stimuli that characterized the alexithymic personality. This study can also provide insight to a clearer understanding of the motivations of consumers and their effects to choice diets.

The Role Of Personality Traits On Taste Perception and Food Preferences.

ROBINO, ANTONIETTA;CARLINO, DAVIDE;PIRASTU, Nicola;GASPARINI, PAOLO
2013-01-01

Abstract

The relationship between individual differences in taste perception and personality dimensions has not been thoroughly examined. The genetically determined sensitivity to certain bitter tastes, such as PROP and PTC, is one of the most studied individual differences in humans. It is in part explained from genotypic variation of TAS2R38 gene, but others factors including personal characteristics could be involved. Our study aimed to analyse the possible relationship between personality traits, PROP bitterness and food preferences. We report data obtained from a total of ~700 healthy individuals (aged 18-76) coming from 6 different small villages in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region in northern Italy. PROP taste phenotype was determined using a method previously described (Zhao et al, 2003). Individuals completed also a food preferences questionnaire on different foods, rating their liking of each item on a 9-point scale ranging from “like extremely” to “dislike extremely”. Standardized questionnaires were administered to characterize subjects on selected personality traits (Temperament and Character Inventory – TCI) and alexithymia (Toronto Alexithymia Scale – TAS-20), a personality construct characterized by an impaired ability to identify, differentiate and describe feelings and to distinguish between feelings and bodily sensations of emotional arousal. Regression analysis detected an association between PROP intensity and alexithymia (TAS Total score), such that high alexithymic individuals showed a reduced PROP responsiveness (p-value=0.0147). Furthermore, these same subjects exhibited a statistically significant lower preference for specific foods, including broccoli, red radish, artichokes, black olives, fava beans. Our results suggest that bitter taste perception and food preferences could be modulated by difficulty in distinguishing and describing feelings and emotional responses to stimuli that characterized the alexithymic personality. This study can also provide insight to a clearer understanding of the motivations of consumers and their effects to choice diets.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/2712286
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