Why do kids hate broccoli? New study gives clues | free press

Cauliflower and children – in the experience of many parents, they do not get along together. Researchers suggest that unpleasant odors may be the cause of the aversion.

LONDON/CANBERRA (DPA) – Broccoli or cauliflower – For many kids, these foods are just “ugh, ugh.” but why?

A team of researchers has now investigated what happens when cabbage is eaten: In the mouth, bacteria in saliva can produce sulfur-containing compounds that give off a foul odor, scientists report in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The high concentration of compounds means that children do not like these types of cabbage. This may also be an explanation for the aversion to other cabbage vegetables.

For the study, researchers from the Australian Science Agency Csiro first identified the most important aroma-active compounds in raw, steamed cauliflower and broccoli. Then it was ranked by 98 families with children aged six to eight — dimethyl trisulfide, a chemical compound that smells foul and sulfur, came in at its worst.

Damien Frank’s team then mixed saliva samples with raw cauliflower powder and analyzed the resulting compounds. The result: Babies whose saliva produces high levels of volatile sulfur compounds often dislike raw cabbage vegetables. However, it was different with adults. From this, the researchers concluded that many people’s taste buds get used to the food over time.

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