The firm asked 30,000 people if they like cilantro or not and what it tasted like to them, they analyzed each subject’s genomes.
The study showed similarities in a group of smell receptor genes that detect the smell of soap in the subjects who said that cilantro made salsa taste like bubble bath. This group of people also tended to share one particular gene, OR6A2, which picks up the scent of aldehyde chemicals.
What are Aldehyde Chemicals?
They are organic molecules that contain a carbon bonded to a hydrogen and double bonded oxygen, and there are several differnt varieties of this chemical. Different aldehydes have a distinctive smell, including cilantro.
In the case of cilantro, there is more than one aldehyde causing the distinctive smell; one that happens to be a byproduct of soap making as well.
Coincidence? We think not.
The OR6A2 gene isn’t the only one contributing to the distaste of cilantro. Scientists believe there are a few more, but for now, we know that this gene plays a part in why cilantro tastes like soap to some people.
So the next time you hear someone complain about the taste of cilantro, don’t jump to conclusions! It might not be that they’re too snooty for your seasonings, they may have a biologically coded distaste for it. And there’s not much you can do about your biological code.