Every once in a while, you come across an article about someone who works as a taste tester for a dog food or cat food company. It’s probably a nasty job, but someone’s got to do it. Or do they? The latest research indicates that human taste buds and cat taste buds may be so far apart that human tasters completely miss the mark.
The researchers (from pet food flavor companies) used cell cultures to test the cellular response of two taste receptors, the cells found on taste buds, that respond to bitterness in humans. Overall, the receptors in cats barely responded when exposed to natural and artificial compounds that taste bitter to people, such as the sweetener saccharin that has a bitter aftertaste. The receptors responded less to aloin, a compound found in aloe, and more to denatonium, which is added to chemicals like antifreeze to deter children from drinking them, suggesting that cat tastes diverge from people more than the researchers thought.
So maybe the cat food that is advertised as delicious could actually taste better to you than to your cat. Let’s hope that this research leads to the employment of hordes of hungry rescue cats as pet food company taste testers (and not just research subjects). That’s probably their dream job, after all. -via Uproxx
(Image credit: Flickr user Robert W. Howington)
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