According to research, smokers and those who have quit cannot fully appreciate the full flavour of a cup of coffee because many cannot taste the bitterness of their regular caffeine kick.

It is already known that smoking, and especially the toxic chemicals in tobacco, causes a loss of taste among smokers. To extend knowledge on the matter, a team of researchers from Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital APHP in France tested the ability of 451 participants to recognise the four basic tastes of sweet, sour, bitter and salty, as well as the intensity of each taste.

The participants were grouped into smokers, non-smokers and people who had quit smoking. It was found that smoking status had no influence on a person's ability to recognise salty, sweet or sour tastes.

"It did however have an effect on people's ability to taste the bitter taste of caffeine," said Nelly Jacob of the Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital. One in every five smokers (19.8 percent) could not correctly recognise the taste, while the same happened one in every four times (26.5 percent) that former smokers were put to the test.

 Only 13.4 percent of non-smokers could not correctly identify the bitter samples they were asked to taste."The accumulation in the body of some tobacco or combustion products may hamper the regeneration of taste buds, and, therefore, still impair a person's ability to recognise certain tastes even after they have stopped smoking," Jacob explained.

The findings were published in Springer's journal Chemosensory Perception.


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