The Zinc Taste Test is an easy, inexpensive, in-office and in-home testing method to assess zinc status1 based on studies of taste and smell to assess zinc status. The British Medical Association’s British National Formulary, in 1988, was the first peer- reviewed recommendation on use of the Zinc Taste Test (ZTT) to assess zinc need. While liquid zinc preparations can be used, lozenges such as PERQUE Zinc & Throat Guard Lozenge are effective and more convenient.2,3


The test involves taking a sip of the solution (approximately 5-10 ml) and holding or swirling it in the mouth exactly ten seconds OR allowing a PERQUE Zinc & Throat Guard Lozenge to dissolve in the mouth. It is essential to refrain from eating, drinking or smoking for approximately one hour before the test to get accurate results.

The zinc taste test uses a test solution of zinc sulfate in purified water at a concentration of 1 gm/liter or a zinc lozenge. If used, the solution should be stored in a refrigerator and discarded after six months. The solution should be removed from storage and left at room temperature for about two hours before carrying out the test.

Expected Outcome

For the zinc taste test, the defined standards are:

1. Very deficient: no specific taste sensation: tastes like plain water. This indicates a major deficiency of zinc requiring supplementation of >150 mg of zinc per day.

2. Quite deficient: no immediate taste is noticed but, within the ten seconds of the test, a ‘dry’ or ‘metallic’ taste is experienced. This indicates a moderate deficiency requiring a supplement of 100 mg of zinc per day.

3. Slightly deficient: an immediate slight taste is noted, which increases with time over the ten second period. This indicates a deficiency of minor degree requiring supplementation of 50 mg per day.

4. Adequate: an immediate, strong and unpleasant taste is experienced. This indicates that no zinc deficiency exists. If this is the response to the first test done then obviously the diet already contains sufficient zinc and no supplement need be taken. A dose of 15-25 mg / day is usually sufficient to maintain adequate zinc status in people with only metabolic needs. Under stress or with toxin exposure, need for zinc can be 100 mg / day or more.

If more zinc than is needed is present, a distinctive small intestinal discomfort confirms excess zinc. As a water-soluble element, reducing zinc intake brings people back to homeostatic zinc balance.

PERQUE Energized Double Zinc Guard tabsules and Throat Guard Lozenges can provide the optimum amounts of zinc required by the body in natural, bio-available forms.


1. Schauss A, Costin C. Zinc as a nutrient in the treatment of eating disorders. Am J Nat Med. 1997 Dec;4: 8-10.

2. Bryce-Smith D, Simpson RI. Case of anorexia nervosa responding to zinc sulfate. Lancet. 1984 Aug11; 2(8398):350.

3. Bryce-Smith D, Simpson RI, Southon S, Johnson IT, Gee JM. Anorexia, depression, and zinc deficiency. Lancet. 1984 Nov17; 2(8412): 1162-1163

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