Genetics, odor perception and food liking: The intriguing role of cinnamon

Maria Pina Concas, Anna Morgan, Giulia Pelliccione, Paolo Gasparini, Giorgia Girotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Humans use a repertoire of > 400 olfactory receptors (ORs) to perceive odorants. The sense of smell is a complex trait whereby genetics and environmental factors interplay. To date, still little is known regarding the genetics of smell, even though the high genetic variability of ORs genes has already been demonstrated. Recently a significant association between cinnamon odorant recognition and the rs317787 polymorphism, located in a cluster of OR genes, has been described. Based on this data, here, we replicated the effect of the same variant (rs317787) on cinnamon odorant identification as well as looked at any possible association with liking for wine whose bouquet frequently smells of cinnamon. Our analysis in a cohort of individuals from two Italian genetic isolates confirmed that rs317787-T allele is associated with an improved cinnamon detection (p-value 5.18 × 10−06, n = 971) but also with a greater liking for red wine (p-value 0.017, n = 2374). Present results further confirm the association of rs31778 SNP and cinnamon odorants detection and provide additional details about the role of the ORs genes in food liking. Overall, our work contributes to better deciphering the genetic basis of smell and food liking aimed at a more in-depth elucidation of the role of the ORs genes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104277
JournalFood Quality and Preference
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Cinnamon odorant
  • Liking for wine
  • OR51B5 gene
  • OR52D1 gene
  • Rs317787

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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