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Linda Bartoshuk - University of Florida. Gainesville, FL, US

Linda Bartoshuk

Professor Emerita | University of Florida

Gainesville, FL, UNITED STATES

Linda Bartoshuk studies sensory perception of foods, including taste, olfaction and irritation/pain.


Linda Bartoshuk studies sensory perception of foods, including taste, olfaction and irritation/pain. She and her students have developed new measurement techniques for quantifying sensations as well as the pleasure/displeasure these sensations evoke. Traditional sensory evaluation compares samples, for example, is coffee A better than coffee B? The new techniques permit valid comparisons of consumers. Her lab discovered supertasters--individuals who experience unusually intense tastes--and studies the consequences of taste pathology. Most recently, Linda has collaborated with horticulturists to connect sensory variation in fruit with variation in fruit palatability.

Areas of Expertise (2)

Food Science & Human Nutrition

Sensory Perception of Food

Media Appearances (7)

Hate cilantro? Love olives? Why some foods are so polarizing

CNN  online


For as long as she can remember, Isabella Silvers has despised the taste of cilantro. The 30-year-old British-Punjabi journalist living in London says the herb has shown up in dishes served at family meals throughout her life -- among them naan, dahl and mattar paneer.

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Curious about the sense of smell and loss after COVID-19? UF can help

The Gainesville Sun  online


Others, like flavor and scent projects with citrus, strawberries and tomatoes, done by Yu Wang, Linda Bartoshuk and Harry Klee, search for new compounds that help enhance sweetness or reduce bitterness, he said. Their findings could be harnessed to help reduce the amount of sugars added to juices, make children's medicine easier to swallow and up the appeal of healthy but less popular foods.

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Could a distaste for broccoli indicate greater resistance to COVID-19?

National Geographic  online


At Yale University in the 1990s, psychologist Linda Bartoshuk pioneered the study of genetic variations in taste perception. She coined the term “supertaster” to describe the 25 percent of people who are intensively sensitive to bitter flavors. Another 25 percent of people are “nontasters” who barely detect bitter flavors, and the remaining 50 percent are just “tasters”—those who register the bitterness but not to the degree that it’s distasteful.

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This strange condition could explain why your tongue feels weird

Popular Science  online


“The worst thing that can happen to a person in the taste system is to get a phantom; it’s very disruptive and very, very hard to live with,” says Linda Bartoshuk, an experimental psychologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville. “You can imagine how frightening it would be to wake up with something like a strong bitter taste in your mouth and not be able to get rid of it.”

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Psychophysics, Smell and Taste / Women in Science

Talking Biotech Podcast  radio


Dr. Linda Bartoshuk has been recognized as an expert on interactions between the smell, taste, psychology and the brain for many decades. While so important to our experiences, smell and taste are poorly understood by the general public. Dr. Bartoshuk explains some of these important nuances of how we sense the world around us, and how that integrates with perception and liking. In the second part we discuss her experiences as a woman navigating overt sexism, harassment and discrimination as she moved from high school, through her education and into her faculty positions– even as a recognized world expert and leader in her field.

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How to Know If You’re a “Super Taster”

Mother Jones  online


Linda Bartoshuk, a professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of Florida’s Center for Smell and Taste, says super tasters tend to be pretty picky eaters and prefer to stick to bland food, which means they may have more in common with Dylan Matthews than with restaurant critics.

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How loud does it hurt? Professor pushes alternative pain scale

NBC News  online


University of Florida psychologist Linda Bartoshuk has a different idea: Try comparing your pain to the loudest sound you've heard, or the brightest light. Is it more like a telephone dial tone, or a train whistle? A night light, or sunlight? "Do you really think that everybody has the same '10' on the scale?" Bartoshuk asked this week during a presentation at the ScienceWriters2013 conference in Gainesville.

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Articles (3)


Stevens' Handbook of Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience

Linda M Bartoshuk


This chapter examines how taste and flavor help us survive. Omnivores (like humans) face a dilemma; we must select healthy foods and avoid poisons. An early belief in the innate ability to eat a healthy diet (“wisdom of the body”) gave way to our current understanding that taste is the true nutritional sense.

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Farm to Sensory Lab: Taste of Blueberry Fruit by Children and Adults

Journal of Food Science

Julie A Mennella, et al.


The average American child eats fewer fruits than recommended. Although taste is the primary motivator for food intake among children, little research has systematically measured children's liking of fruit and determined whether their preferences differ from adults.

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Consumer Acceptability of Fresh-Market Muscadine Grapes

Journal of Food Science

Kelly Brown, et al.


The objective of this research was to investigate the acceptability of muscadine grape (Vitis rotundifolia) genotypes (cultivars and selections) and to correlate overall liking to other quality measurements to determine the main drivers of liking. Twenty-two genotypes grown at the Univ. of Georgia–Tifton Campus were evaluated.

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Linda Bartoshuk Publication



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Inside the Psychologist's Studio with Linda Bartoshuk APS Convention - Linda Bartoshuk Leads Miracle Fruit Experiment Why We Like the Foods We Like with Linda Bartoshuk, PhD