Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mixing Artificial Sweeteners Inhibits Bitter Taste Receptors

15.09.2017

Blends of artificial sweeteners such as saccharin and cyclamate produce less of a bitter off-taste than each of the individual components, but the explanation for this puzzling phenomenon has been elusive ever since its discovery more than 60 years ago. A study published September 14th in the journal Cell Chemical Biology solves this long-standing mystery, revealing that saccharin inhibits the activity of bitter taste receptors stimulated by cyclamate and, conversely, that cyclamate reduces the off-taste elicited by saccharin.

“Numerous sweeteners exhibit undesirable off-tastes, limiting their use in food products and beverages,” says lead author Maik Behrens of the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke. “Our findings in this study provide us with the tools and knowledge to find ways leading to superior sweetener blends.”


Artificial Sweetener: Saccharin

High-potency sweeteners are widely used to replace energy-rich, tooth-decay-inducing sugars in food items to meet the requirements of health-conscious consumers. But in addition to stimulating sweet taste receptors, sugar substitutes also activate bitter taste receptors (known as TAS2Rs) at high concentrations, resulting in an undesired off-taste. To overcome this problem, the food industry is constantly searching for novel sugar substitutes and frequently resorts to using blends combining non-caloric sweeteners in a single formulation.

The earliest blend allowing higher sweetness levels with reduced bitter off-taste combined saccharin with cyclamate. But since this discovery 62 years ago, the mechanism by which sweetener blends become superior to single compounds has remained obscure. A clue to this mystery came when Behrens and his team discovered that some bitter compounds not only activate a subset of the 25 human bitter taste receptors, but also can inhibit different bitter taste receptors.

“Knowing that mixtures of saccharin and cyclamate exert reduced bitterness compared to the single compounds raised the question [of] whether this might be due to mutual inhibition of bitter taste receptor responses,” Behrens says.

To explore this possibility, Behrens and senior author Wolfgang Meyerhof of the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke expressed various human taste receptors in human cells and tested their responses to different concentrations of saccharin and cyclamate. Using this cell-based system, they discovered that cyclamate strongly inhibits the saccharin-induced activation of two bitter taste receptors called TAS2R31 and TAS2R43. This effect occurred at concentrations where cyclamate itself does not elicit a side taste. Similarly, saccharin blocked the cyclamate-induced responses of a bitter taste receptor called TAS2R1.

“Saccharin and cyclamate belong to the oldest-known high-potency synthetic sweeteners, and we were able to discover with our cell assay completely novel features of these molecules, namely their bitter-blocking ability,” Behrens says.

For the time being, it remains unclear whether the components of other sweetener blends also show mutual inhibition of bitter taste receptors. “Once the activation and inhibition profiles of the 25 human bitter taste receptors have been investigated in great detail, it will be possible to tailor the composition of mixtures to develop novel sweetener formulations and to improve the taste of medicine,” Meyerhof says.


Funding was provided by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme.
Cell Chemical Biology, Behrens et al.: “Blends of Non-caloric Sweeteners Saccharin and Cyclamate Show Reduced Off-Taste due to TAS2R Bitter Receptor Inhibition” <http://www.cell.com/cell-chemical-biology/fulltext/S2451-9456(17)30278-7 DOI: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2017.08.004>

Cell Chemical Biology (@CellChemBiol), published by Cell Press, is a monthly journal publishing research and review content of exceptional interest for the chemical biology community. The journal's mission is to support and promote chemical biology and drive conversation and collaboration between chemical and life sciences. Visit: http://www.cell.com/chemistry-biology. To receive Cell Press media alerts, contact press@cell.com.

• • •

Author Contact:

Dr. Maik Behrens
German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke
Dept. Molecular Genetics
Arthur-Scheunert-Allee 114-116
14558 Nuthetal, Germany
phone: +49 (0)33200 88 2545
e-mail: behrens@dife.de

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Meyerhof
German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke
Dept. Molecular Genetics
Arthur-Scheunert-Allee 114-116
14558 Nuthetal, Germany
phone: +49 (0)33200 88 2282
e-mail: meyerhof@dife.de

Media Contact:

Dr. Gisela Olias
Press and Public Relations Coordinator
German Institute of Human Nutrition
Potsdam-Rehbruecke (DIfE)
phone: +49 (0)33200 88-2278/-2335
e-mail: olias@dife.de
or presse@dife.de

Media Contact:
Joseph Caputo | Press Office | Cell Press
617-397-2802 | jcaputo@cell.com | press@cell.com

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.dife.de/forschung/abteilungen/kurzprofil.php?abt=MOGE&lang=en Department of Molecular Genetics at the German Intistute of Human Nutrition

Dr. Gisela Olias | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: Cell Chemical Biology Ernährungsforschung Sweeteners

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides
16.07.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology

nachricht The secret sulfate code that lets the bad Tau in
16.07.2018 | American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Subaru Telescope helps pinpoint origin of ultra-high energy neutrino

16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides

16.07.2018 | Life Sciences

New research calculates capacity of North American forests to sequester carbon

16.07.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>