Why does coriander taste like soap to some people? © Getty Images

Why does coriander taste like soap to some people?

Asked by: Harry Clarke, via email

As many as one in five people says that coriander has a soapy taste. This is likely to be due to a super-sensitivity to chemicals called aldehydes, which are present in coriander and are also used to perfume soaps and detergents.

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In 2012, researchers in California analysed the DNA of over 14,000 people, identifying two genetic variants associated with the soapy taste, the most common of which is a gene coding for an odour receptor tailored to sniff out aldehydes.

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