Food Ingredients Affect Taste Perception6 months, 3 weeks ago
Posted on Jul 30, 2018, 7 p.m.
Food ingredients affect taste perception such as pungent compound 6-gingerol stimulates enzymes contained in saliva that break down foul smelling substances in the mouth ensuring fresh breath and better aftertastes, and citric acid increases sodium ion content of saliva making salty foods seem to taste less salty.
Many components in the food we eat can contribute directly to characteristic tastes of food and beverage via contributing their own influence of particular taste, spiciness, or scent. Food components also indirectly influence sense of taste vai other biochemical mechanisms as well which are not fully understood. Scientists from the Technical University of Munich and the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology have investigated the phenomenon in greater detail.
According to the scientists their findings show that pungent principles of 6-gingerol in ginger make levels of sulfhydryl oxidase 1 enzyme in saliva increase 16 fold within seconds as saliva and breath analysis on human volunteer participants show the enzyme breaks down malodorous sulfur containing compounds, reducing the long lasting aftertaste of many food items as a result breath smells better.
Findings also show citric acid influences perception of taste using a different mechanism. According to the scientists sour tastes stimulate salivation, amounts of minerals dissolved in saliva increases in proportion to amounts of saliva; sodium ion level in saliva rises by about eleven fold after stimulation from citric acid reducing sensitivity to salt which is sodium chloride. Sodium ions have roles in the taste of salt, saliva already containing higher concentrations of sodium ions need higher salt content in order to be tasted as comparatively salty.
Scientists note more research is required to gain better understandings of complex interactions between molecules in food that create taste and biochemical processes taking place in saliva with sense of taste, and mechanism discovery may contribute to future development of oral hygiene products. Using systems biology approaches the goal is to develop scientific basis for food production with component and functional profiles to satisfy health and sensory needs of consumers using biomolecular research methods are being combined with high performance analytical technologies and bioinformatics methods to achieve their goals.
Materials provided by Technical University of Munich (TUM).
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Matthias Bader, Theresa Stolle, Maximilian Jennerwein, Jürgen Hauck, Buket Sahin, Thomas Hofmann. Chemosensate-Induced Modulation of the Salivary Proteome and Metabolome Alters the Sensory Perception of Salt Taste and Odor-Active Thiols. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2018; 66 (29): 7740 DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.8b02772