December 23, 2008

Girls like muted flavors, boys more extreme

Danish researchers have discovered marked differences in how boys and girls judge tastes.

The researchers said girls have a superior sense of taste, but they prefer muted flavors while boys like extreme flavors. The boys preferred a super sweet soft drink, but also gave top marks to the sourest samples, the researchers found.

The findings could be used to develop more varied food products and snacks for young people, the researchers said.

It is quite clear that children and young people are very good tasters, and that there are bigger variations between them than most people would expect, study leader Bodil Allesen-Holm of the University of Copenhagen said in a statement. Healthy snacks could easily be developed for boys with slightly extreme and sour flavors.

The study -- a joint effort between the University of Copenhagen and a non-profit organization, Danish Science Communication -- was based on responses given by 8,900 children who completed tests as part of their natural science classes in Denmark.