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Prevalence of cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) disliking among different ethnocultural groups

Lilli Mauer1 and Ahmed El-Sohemy2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

2 Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, Room 310, 150 College St, Toronto, ON M5S 3E2, Canada

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Flavour 2012, 1:8  doi:10.1186/2044-7248-1-8

Published: 2 May 2012



Cilantro, the leaf of the Coriandrum sativum plant, is an herb that is widely consumed globally and has purported health benefits ranging from antibacterial to anticancer activities. Some individuals report an extreme dislike for cilantro, and this may explain the different cilantro consumption habits between populations. However, the prevalence of cilantro dislike has not previously been reported in any population. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of cilantro dislike among different ethnocultural groups from a population of young adults living in Canada. Subjects (n = 1,639) between the ages of 20 and 29 years were participants of the Toronto Nutrigenomics and Health Study. Individuals rated their preference for cilantro on a 9-point scale from ‘dislike extremely’ to ‘like extremely’. Subjects also had the option to select ‘have not tried’ or ‘would not try’. Subjects who selected 1 to 4 were classified as disliking cilantro.


The prevalence of dislike ranged from 3 to 21%. The proportion of subjects classified as disliking cilantro was 21% for East Asians, 17% for Caucasians, 14% for those of African descent, 7% for South Asians, 4% for Hispanics, and 3% for Middle Eastern subjects.


These findings show that the prevalence of cilantro dislike differs widely between various ethnocultural groups.

Cilantro; Coriander; Flavor perception; Food preference