bitter blocker
(BI.tur blaw.kur) n. A biochemical compound that reduces the body's ability to taste bitterness.
bitter blocking pp.

Example Citation:
[I]t is not cream or milk that the employees of Linguagen Corp. add to their morning java, but a dash of a biological compound that fools their brain into thinking that black, bitter coffee is as smooth as a milky double latte: All the flavour, none of the calories, and the effects last only as long as it takes them to drain their mugs.

A quiet revolution is under way in the world of flavour research, blending chemistry, molecular biology and genetics to cook up recipes your mother never imagined: In this emerging field, it's not the food that will be modified, but you — the eater.

Imagine a compound that could dupe your tongue into thinking bland oatmeal was hot-fudge-sundae sweet? Or another that could make kids hoover spinach like Popeye?

"You could make healthy foods taste better," Alejandro Marangoni, a food scientist at the University of Guelph, said of the new field. "Just blocking bitterness has huge potential. Somebody's going to make a lot of money."

Linguagen's "bitter blocker" compound, which received a U.S. patent this month, is the first chemical known to inhibit the taste of bitterness by altering human perception instead of flavour.
—Carolyn Abraham, "The revolutionary molecules that turn bland food bodacious," The Globe and Mail, Febrary 2, 2003

Earliest Citation:
What do cashew shells, rhubarb and beer have in common? No, it's not what you find on your living-room floor after a party. They all contain chemicals called tannins that have been found to inhibit plaque and prevent tooth decay. When tannins are combined with sugar, as found in beer or even chocolate, lower bacterial counts result. In addition, tannins decrease the chances of periodontal disease developing. The research for incorporating these compounds into home health-care products has begun. A big stumbling block, though, is the very bitter taste they possess, so drug companies will need to discover a better ''bitter blocker.''
—Dr. William G. DeWert and Dr. E. Glenn Glassman, "Tooth talk," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 4, 1991

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