This is a non-chemical, and probably the first biological, method of determining the presence of alkaloids. It was first used particularly with quinolizidine alkaloids in lupine plants. The tasters were men or animals, even in ancient times. It is based on the fact that quinolizidine alkaloid has a bitter taste. This method is qualitative. Taste is a subjective and individual category, especially in the case of animals. It is known generally that hares and sheep are more tolerant of quinolizidine alkaloids than other animals. This method can be described as a simple attempt to determine bitterness (alkaloid) in lupine plants.
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