Humans contain a gene that is linked to an odor receptor called OR7D4 which detects androstenone, a compound that is parallel to testosterone found in male mammals–especially in pork. A recent study conducted by the researchers of Duke University Medical Center and colleagues in Norway found that people with only one or no functional copies of OR7D4 can tolerate the scent of androstenone much better than people with two copies can. It is found that 70% of humans have two functional copies of the gene. The reactions to androstenone differ among people as some say that it can smell like urine to sweet vanilla.
The study had a total of 23 participants—13 were consumers and 10 were professional sensory assessors. Both groups smelled and tasted pork at different varying levels of androstenone and were surveyed if they liked it or not. The results showed that those who had one copy or zero copies of OR7D4 gene could tolerate the smell of pork better than those with two functional copies of the gene. Since taste is a combination of taste, smell, texture, and temperature–it is interesting to realize that this gene determines whether or not if you like pork.
The results opened the door for further experiments such as how odor receptor gens effect populations such as vegetarians or people living in the Middle East, who don’t eat different kinds of meat.
Click here to read further –Courtesy of Times Healthland