Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg.  2014 Oct;57(10):692-697. 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2014.57.10.692.

Differences in Taste Thresholds According to Sex and Age Groups in Korean

  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, College of Medicine, Catholic University of Daegu, Daegu, Korea. miky@cu.ac.kr
  • 2Korea Food Research Institute, Seongnam, Korea.
  • 3Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Catholic University of Daegu, Daegu, Korea.


The aim of the study was to compare the gustatory function between age-matched men and women in Korean subjects. SUBJECTS AND METHOD: Healthy non-smoking volunteers without smell and taste disorders were investigated. Thirty-nine men and women of the same age group were evaluated for gustatory function. Whole mouth taste test was performed with successive solutions of sucrose, sodium chloride, citric acid, and quinine hydrochloride. The electrical taste thresholds were measured using an electrogustometer for four different sites in the oral cavity, i.e., both sides of anterior and posterior tongue.
Female subjects had lower mean values of detection and recognition thresholds for all of the four tastes than male subjects, although these results did not reach statistical significance except for the detection threshold for salt and the recognition threshold for quinine. In electrogustometry, thresholds in the posterior tongue of glossopharyngeal nerve area were significantly higher for men than women.
Men had higher taste threshold than women of the same age category. For additional information on the effects of gender and aging on taste thresholds, further studies including a large number of well-controlled subjects are essential.


Aging; Sex; Taste; Taste threshold
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