A scientific study conducted by Marmite and genetic testing centre DNAFit has reportedly determined that there is a genetic foundation to people’s taste preference for loving or hating Marmite.
Dubbed ‘The Marmite Gene Project’, the study has scientifically shown that people are born genetically more likely to be lovers or more likely to be haters of the product, showing that there is a genetic foundation to the preference.
The study recruited more than 260 healthy adults, with an equal split of men and women taking part across the UK.
The participants were first asked to taste a 2g serving of Marmite on their tongue for ten seconds, filling out a questionnaire to identify their assumed ‘love or hate’ taste preference and their reaction to the product once tasted.
Saliva cheek swabs were then taken from each participant to obtain DNA samples that were sent for genetic analysis to identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which are single DNA blocks that have an impact on specific traits, associated with Marmite taste preference.
Overall, swabbing, analysing and interpreting the results took researchers 8,760 hours, with the study identifying 15 candidate SNPs that are linked to Marmite taste preference.
Thomas Roos (MSc Biology & MSc Clinical Research, Stanford University), principal investigator of The Marmite Gene Project at DNAFit, commented: “Our research indicates that Marmite taste preference can in large parts be attributed to our genetic blueprint, which shows that each of us is born with a tendency to be either a ‘lover’ or a ‘hater’.
“Our data reveals that there are multiple genes that contribute towards this, and it is a really exciting discovery.”
A scientific White Paper has been made available at www.dnafit.com/downloads/MarmiteGenetics_WhitePaper_Final.pdf, detailing the full findings.
Avi Lasarow, CEO of DNAFit, said: “Advancing technology means we live in a world of increased appetite for highly personalised food and fitness information. These fascinating findings show again how each day we are understanding more and more about the role that genetics play in our daily lives.
“The mystery around Marmite is one of the great British food debates, and we are proud to have led this exciting research project.”