Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have discovered a gene that plays a vital role in deciding whether a plate of pork smells like a vanilla or urine and sweat.
The researchers divided 23 participants into two groups, depending on whether they found the smell of pork offensive or not. On conducting genetic analysis of the participants, the researchers identified two copies of a gene known as OR7D4 in those who did not like the smell of a compound, androstenone, present in pork compared to just one copy among those who did like it.
Lead researcher Hiroaki Matsunami said that the presence of androstenone, which is similar to testosterone, is low in pigs of North America and Europe as they are castrated. "In North America and Europe, pigs are castrated, so the concentration of androstenone is quite low. The only time you find a high concentration of androsteone is when you eat wild boar meat", he said.
The study is published in PLOS One.