For our project, we worked extensively with the plants stevia (stevia rebaudiana) and aronia (aronia melanocarpa). Both plants could play an important role in the future of food. The health benefit of the stevia plant stems from powder made from the stevia plant, which can be used as a calorie-free sugar substitute. Aronia contains many polyphenols that serve to catch free radicals.
Additionally, aronia has anti-mutagen, cancer-inhibiting, liver-protecting and anti-diabetic effects. However, we were most interested in how these plants taste. Aronia is very bitter and stevia powder has a metallic-bitter taste in high concentrations. We suspected, therefore, that the deciding factor of the taste perception for stevia and aronia could be the gene TAS2R38.