Factors influencing the phenotypic characterization of the oral marker, PROP

Beverly J. Tepper, Melania Melis, Yvonne Koelliker, Paolo Gasparini, Karen L. Ahijevych, Iole Tomassini Barbarossa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


In the last several decades, the genetic ability to taste the bitter compound, 6-n-propyltiouracil (PROP) has attracted considerable attention as amodel for understanding individual differences in taste perception, and as an oral marker for food preferences and eating behavior that ultimately impacts nutritional status and health. However, some studies do not support this role. This review describes common factors that can influence the characterization of this phenotype including: (1) changes in taste sensitivity with increasing age; (2) gender differences in taste perception; and (3) effects of smoking and obesity. We suggest that attention to these factors during PROP screening could strengthen the associations between this phenotype and a variety of health outcomes ranging from variation in body composition to oral health and cancer risk.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1275
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


  • Age
  • Gender
  • PROP tasting
  • Psychophysical approach
  • Weight status


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