Navigation Links
Multiple genes manage how people taste sweeteners
Date:8/20/2013

Genetics may play a role in how people's taste receptors send signals, leading to a wide spectrum of taste preferences, according to Penn State food scientists. These varied, genetically influenced responses may mean that food and drink companies will need a range of artificial sweeteners to accommodate different consumer tastes.

"Genetic differences lead to differences in how people respond to tastes of foods," said John Hayes, assistant professor, food science and director of the sensory evaluation center.

Based on the participants' genetic profile, researchers were able to explain the reactions of subjects in a taste test when they sampled Acesulfame-K -- Ace K -- in the laboratory. Ace K is a man-made non-nutritive sweetener commonly found in carbonated soft drinks and other products. Non-nutritive sweeteners are sweeteners with minimal or no calories.

While some people find Ace K sweet, others find it both bitter and sweet.

The researchers, who reported their findings in the recent issue of the journal, Chemical Senses, said that variants of two bitter taste receptor genes -- TAS2R9 and TAS2R31 -- were able to explain some of the differences in Ace K's bitterness.

These two taste receptor genes work independently, but they can combine to form a range of responses, said Alissa Allen, doctoral student in food science, who worked with Hayes.

Humans have 25 bitter-taste receptors and one sweet receptor that act like locks on gates. When molecules fit certain receptors like keys, a signal is sent to the brain, which interprets these signals as tastes -- some pleasant and some not so pleasant, Allen said.

In another study recently published in the journal Chemosensory Perception, Allen had 122 participants taste two stevia extracts, RebA -- Rebaudioside A -- and RebD -- Rebaudioside D. Stevia is a South American plant that has served as a sweetener for centuries, according to the researchers. While the plant is becoming more popular as a natural non-nutritive sweetener, consumers have reported of tastes from stevia-based sweeteners, including bitterness.

The researchers found that RebA and RebD bitterness varies greatly across subjects, but this was not related to whether or not participants found Ace K bitter. Likewise, variation in the TAS2R9 and TAS2R31 genes did not predict RebA and RebD bitterness. They also found that of the stevia extracts, the participants considered RebD to be much less bitter than RebA.

While stevia is growing in acceptance as a natural replacement for other sweeteners, manufacturers do not use the whole leaf. Instead, the leaf is ground up and certain parts of it are extracted and blended to make the sweetener.

"Our work suggests ingredient suppliers may want to consider commercializing RebD, as it provides similar sweetness to RebA with much less bitterness," said Hayes.

Hayes also said that researchers are just beginning to understand the molecular basis of taste perception.

"We've known for over 80 years that some people differ in their ability to taste bitterness, but we have only begin to tease apart the molecular basis of these differences in the last decade," Hayes said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Matthew Swayne
mls29@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Gene mutations caused by a fathers lifestyle can be inherited by multiple generations
2. Testing method promising for spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis
3. Study helps managers identify regions with multiple threat potential, including wildfires
4. Discovery of the gene responsible for multiple intestinal atresia in newborns
5. Cocktail of multiple pressures combine to threaten the worlds pollinating insects
6. Geology covers multiple disciplines and substantial territory in Aprils new postings
7. 23andMe identifies multiple genetic factors impacting development of nearsightedness
8. New research may aid treatment of multiple myeloma patients
9. New research network for multiple sclerosis research
10. Multiple sclerosis study reveals how killer T cells learn to recognize nerve fiber insulators
11. Nursing gerbils unravel benefit of multiple mothers in collective mammals
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2016)... 2, 2016 Technology Enhancements Accelerate Growth of X-ray ... the digital and computed radiography markets in ... Indonesia (TIM). It provides an ... as well as regional market drivers and restraints. The ... penetration and market attractiveness, both for digital and computed ...
(Date:2/1/2016)... 1, 2016 Rising sales of ... global touchfree intuitive gesture control market size ... sales of consumer electronics coupled with new technological advancements ... size through 2020   --> ... new technological advancements to drive global touchfree intuitive gesture ...
(Date:1/28/2016)... JOSE, Calif., Jan. 28, 2016 Synaptics (NASDAQ: SYNA ... results for its second quarter ended December 31, 2015. ... second quarter of fiscal 2016 increased 2 percent compared to the ... second quarter of fiscal 2016 was $35.0 million, or $0.93 per ... Non-GAAP net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2016 grew ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The American Academy of Thermology (AAT) has announced ... AAT Member Certification Qualification Course for Technicians via a two part webinar on July ... a detailed review of hardware, software, and camera setup/operations, aligns with the in-person member ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... PharmApprove announced today ... National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). Dorman will lead PharmApprove efforts to work ... throughout the drug regulatory review process. , “Adding Diane Dorman is just the ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... , Feb. 9, 2016 This market ... the current and future prospects of the market in ... report include companies engaged in the manufacture of microbiology ... executive summary with a market snapshot providing the overall ... of this report. This section also provides the overall ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... Three-Year Initiative Supports Next Generation of ... in Life-Changing Camp Experiences ... affect the lives of children born with rare diseases, as well ... ) is announcing a new initiative designed to positively affect the ... future of rare disease care. --> To mark the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: