With the festive season approaching some of us will already be dreading the thought of brussels sprouts adorning our Christmas dinner plate, while others find them perfectly palatable. Why is this?
Well, scientists have discovered that some people have a particular mutated gene (the memorably named TAS2R38 gene) - if you have this mutated gene, you can't taste the bitterness of a chemical called PTC (phenylthiocarbamide) which is very similar to a chemical found in brussels sprouts. Around 50% of the world's population has this gene mutation and hence cannot taste the bitterness of sprouts, while the other 50% (without the gene) can taste the bitterness and will always dislike them for this reason.
So now the brussels sprouts haters have a scientific explanation to 'say no to sprouts' on Christmas day!