Taste test strips are mainly used in biology labs to help understand statistics as it relates to genetic variability. This information can be used in a very different & interesting way.
When people are asked to group themselves by perceived common values they do so by age, sex, race, etc. Since the genes for tasting follow a normal distribution across human populations, if you now group people by those results you will end up with a completely different mix that crosses all the other barriers. It's a great way to show that people have much more in common with each other than they thought & a greater appreciation for our diversity as a species.
A supertaster senses flavors more strongly than the averge person. They have many more taste buds and are particularly sensitive to bitter foods such as broccoli, spinach, coffee, beer, and chocolate. This characteristic is inherited in roughly 25% of the population, more often in women. Flavors we taste are broadly grouped as sweet, salty, bitter, sour & umami. Use Indigo™ taste test paper strips in your supertaster quiz and find out if you, your family or friends have the supertaster gene.
The reason for our evolving a supertasting ability is unclear but it is thought to be related to recognizing potentially toxic plant alkaloids since it is estimated that this trait is in the ~75% of people who can taste PTC.
See the Scientific American article: Super-Tasting Science: Find Out If You're a "Supertaster"!. It even includes instructions on how you can compare the number of taste buds on your tongue to that of your friends.
The Myths of Human Genetics is an interesting read. It discusses topics that range from eye and hair color to dimples, attached earlobes & more.
The section PTC tasting: The myth, is one of the most detailed we have encountered and is instructive to anyone involved with teaching taste test genetics labs.
To quote the conclusion in brief: ""PTC tasting is largely determined by a single gene...(but) there are other genes or environmental factors that influence PTC tasting. As a result, there is a continuous range of PTC tasting, not absolute separation into tasters and non-tasters. PTC tasting would be a fascinating subject for an advanced genetics class, but it does not fit the one-gene, two-allele myth well enough to be used to demonstrate simple Mendelian genetics."
All test strips are white so to randomize your experiment, mark each type of strip with a unique color code. 2 Ink felt pens could be used to add stripes at one end such as: black/black, red/red, black/red, red/black. Another method (but we haven't tried ) would be to remove the strips & add some food dye to the vial. Put the strips back in & let them soak up the dye. Remove again & set them out to dry.