WHETHER you love or hate Vegemite may not actually be a question of taste but your own genetics.
Scientists believe the unexplained mystery about why some people loathe Australian's favourite spread while others love it can now be explained by DNA, with our genetic makeup indicating what foods we do and do not like.
It comes as new research from the UK on Marmite, Britain's preferred yeast spread, found there are 15 genes which determine whether or not people enjoy the taste.
Dietitian Association of Australia spokeswoman Julie Gilbert said the research would likely also apply to Vegemite given the similarities between the two black spreads.
"It's very likely you'd find the same results for Vegemite," she said.
Conducted by food scientists DNAfit, the study examined the taste preferences of 260 people and found 15 similar genes between those who liked Marmite.
"Marmite taste preference can in large parts be attributed to our genetic blueprint, which shows that each of us is born with a tendency to be either a lover or a hater," lead researcher Thomas Roos said.
CSIRO flavour scientist Nicholas Archer said research showed genetics had a big role in whether people enjoyed sweet, salty and bitter tastes.
He said this was because the receptor proteins humans have that detect tastes and aroma are produced from instructions encoded in our DNA.
Surry Hills mum Laura Bradley said she was "surprised" by the research because while she "couldn't get enough" Vegemite her kids only occasionally like to eat the spread.
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