If your kid won’t eat vegetables and neither will his or her parents, there is hope in the form of a new “bitterness blocker” that will improve the tastes of those green leafy things. If the ultimate hope is for broccoli to taste like an ice cream sundae, one can forget about that, but scientists at the American Chemical Society are seriously working on a way to make healthier foods better tasting.
An enhanced “bitterness blocker” called GIV3616, was presented at the national conference of the American Chemical Society. When added to food, it targets particular taste buds and prevents them from recognizing bitter tastes known as “off notes”. Until now, these bitter tastes in processed foods have often been masked with unhealthy ingredients, such as excess salt, sugar and fat.
Food scientists refer to people with a heightened sensitivity to bitter foods as “supertasters,” and while this figure only covers about 25 % of the population, probably 100 % of all children fall into this category. Food colorings and cute shapes cannot override a dislike for the taste of some foods and it is hoped that GIV3616 can change all that.
The special compound is expected to go on sale this coming summer and it is likely that the first products to contain it may well be diet drinks. Food products are invariably next, and it is possible that in the very near future children may actually crave vegetables! (Or will it be the chemical improving the taste of the vegetables?)
The health benefits of such a situation are immeasurable at this point, but this new breakthrough can only mean healthier eating for future generations.
The day may well come in the near future when children watching an old Popeye cartoon will think the old man is nuts for not liking spinach.