Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 4

02/12/2015

Molecular Basis for Taste -- Tastant Molecules

SCIENCE OF FOOD AND COOKING

__

Today is W e dne sday, De ce m be r 2, 2015

TASTE MOLECULES

More Activities
THE MOLECULAR BASIS OF TASTE

Taste reception occurs at the apical tip of taste cells that form taste buds. Each onion shaped taste
bud has is composed of 50100 taste cells that possess microvilli. Each single taste bud contains
50100 taste cells representing all 5 taste sensations. Embedded in the cell membranes of these
taste cells are receptor proteins. Each of the taste receptors are transmembrane proteins which
function either by physically binding to a flavor ingredient (sweet, bitter and umami) or by acting as
a channel to allow ions to flow directly into a taste cell (salty and sour). This interaction triggers a
signaling cascade that culminates with signals to the brain through a network of taste nerve fibers.

What is
Molecular
Gastronomy?

Food Science
Schools-Undergraduate and
Graduate Programs

In the case of sweet, umami and bitter tasting it is the size and shape and the chemical groups on
a tastant molecule which determine any taste it will have as they will determine its ability to dock
onto one or more of the different receptor proteins (See schematic or full reference). A single taste
cell seems to be restricted to expressing only a single type of receptor strongly supporting the
(labelled-line model) as evidenced by data using gene-knockout mice (see data). And further data
here, where targeted expression of a novel bitter receptor to bitter (T2R-expressing) cells resulted in
dose-dependent aversion to the specific bitter tastant. In marked contrast, directing expression of
the same receptor to sweet cells produces animals that are strongly attracted to this bitter tastant.
RECEPTOR PROTEINS FOUND IN TASTE CELLS

SWEET -- Sugars and artificial sweeteners are detected by T1R2 and T1R3 heteromers, (see
Margolskee, 2002) UMAMI --T1R1 and T1R3 GPCRs combine to form a broadly tuned L-amino-acid
receptor
BITTER-- Bitter chemicals are detected by 30 T2R receptor family members. (see Margolskee,
2002)
SOUR -- Acids are detected by PKD1L3- and PKD2L1 sour-sensing cells (Ishimaru, et al., 2006;
Zuker et.al. 2006).
SALT -- Not known although approximately 20% effect may be by amiloride-sensitive sodium
channels.
FAT -- Speculative -- CD36 Receptor (see Abumrad, 2005)

3D - STRUCTURE OF
TASTE MOLECULES

EXAMPLES OF TASTANT MOLECULES

C12H22O11

Chemical
and
Physical
Info

Fructose

C6H12O6

Chemical
and
Physical
Info

Glucose

C6H12O6

Chemical
and
Physical
Info

Lactose

C12H22O11

Chemical
and
Physical
Info

Sucrose

Food Encyclopedia

SUGARS

Chemical

http://www.edinformatics.com/math_science/science_of_cooking/taste_molecules.htm

1/4

02/12/2015

Molecular Basis for Taste -- Tastant Molecules

Saccharin

C7H5NO3S

and
Physical
Info

ARTIFICIAL
SWEETENERS

SALT

Sucralose

C12H19Cl3O8

Chemical
and
Physical
Info

Aspartame

C14H18N2O5

Chemical
and
Physical
Info

NaCl

Chemical
and
Physical
Info

C21H29N2OC7H5O2

Chemical
and
Physical
Info

C7H5NO3S

Chemical
and
Physical
Info

Caffeine

C8H10N4O2

Chemical
and
Physical
Info

Quinine

C20H24N2O2

Chemical
and
Physical
Info

PTC
(Phenylthiourea)

C7H8N2S

Chemical
and
Physical
Info

Humulone (beer)

C21H30O5

Chemical
and
Physical
Info

Table Salt

Denatonium

Saccharin

BITTER
TASTANTS

http://www.edinformatics.com/math_science/science_of_cooking/taste_molecules.htm

2/4

02/12/2015

Molecular Basis for Taste -- Tastant Molecules

C15H20O9NS2

Chemical
and
Physical
Info

NaC5NH8O4

Chemical
and
Physical
Info

C4H7NO4

Chemical
and
Physical
Info

C6H8O7

Chemical
and
Physical
Info

Tartaric acid

C4H6O6

Chemical
and
Physical
Info

Acetic acid

CH3COOH

Chemical
and
Physical
Info

Capsaicin

C18H27NO3

Chemical
and
Physical
Info

C10H20O

Chemical
and
Physical
Info

Gluconasturtiin (a
Glucosinolates)

Monosodium
glutamate (MSG) Sodium salt
UMAMI

Aspartate

Citric acid

ACIDS

THERMAL

Menthol

TEMPERATURE RECEPTORS

Temperature is an essential element of human taste experience. Food and drink which within a
given culture is considered to be properly served hot is often considered distasteful if cold, and
vice versa. Some sugar substitutes have strong heats of solution, as is the case of sorbitol,
erythritol, xylitol, mannitol, lactitol and maltitol. When they are dry and are allowed to dissolve in
saliva, besides the sweet taste also heat effects can be recognized. The cooling effect upon eating
may be desirable, as in a mint candy made with crystalline sorbitol, or undesirable if it's not typical
for that product
Some substances activate cold trigeminal receptors. One can sense a cool sensation (also known
as "cold", "fresh" or "minty") from, e.g., spearmint, menthol, ethanol or camphor, which is caused
by the food activating the TRP-M8 ion channel on nerve cells that signal cold. The reactions behind
this sense are therefore analogous to those behind the hot sense. Unlike the actual change in
temperature described for sugar substitutes, coolness is only a perceived phenomena.
http://www.edinformatics.com/math_science/science_of_cooking/taste_molecules.htm

3/4

02/12/2015

Molecular Basis for Taste -- Tastant Molecules

Spiciness or (false) heat See also: Scoville scale Substances such as ethanol and capsaicin cause
a burning sensation by inducing a trigeminal nerve reaction together with normal taste reception.
The heat is caused by the food activating a nerve cell ion channel called TRP-V1, which is also
activated by hot temperatures.
References:
Abumrad, N.A.(2005) CD36 may determine our desire for dietary fats. J Clin Invest. 2005 November
1; 115(11): 29652967.
Hiroaki Matsunami1, Jean-Pierre Montmayeur1 and Linda B. Buck (2000) A family of candidate
taste receptors in human and mouse Nature 404, 601-604.
Seeing, Feeling, and Tasting: Molecular Genetics of Sensory Signal Transduction
Ryusuke Yoshida, Keisuke Sanematsu, Noriatsu Shigemura, Keiko Yasumatsu and Yuzo
Ninomiya (2005) Taste Receptor Cells Responding with Action Potentials to Taste Stimuli and their
Molecular Expression of Taste Related Genes
Jayaram Chandrashekar1, Mark A. Hoon, Nicholas J. P. Ryba and Charles S. Zuker 2006 --The
receptors and cells for mammalian taste Nature 444, 288-294.
Robert F. Margolskee (2002 ) Molecular Mechanisms of Bitter and Sweet Taste Transduction J.
Biol. Chem., Vol. 277, Issue 1, 1-4, January 4.
Yoshiro Ishimaru, Hitoshi Inada, Momoka Kubota, Hanyi Zhuang, Makoto Tominaga,, and Hiroaki
Matsunami (2006) Transient receptor potential family members PKD1L3 and PKD2L1 form a
candidate sour taste receptor PNAS August 15, , vol. 103, no. 33, 12569-12574.
Angela L. Huang, Xiaoke Chen, Mark A. Hoon, Jayaram Chandrashekar, Wei Guo, Dimitri Trnkner,
Nicholas J. P. Ryba and Charles S. Zuker (2006) The cells and logic for mammalian sour taste
detection Nature 442, 934-938.

All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details). Disclaimers. Wikipedia is powered by MediaWiki, an open source wiki
engine.

Questions or Comments?

Copyright 1999 EdInformatics.com


All Rights Reserved.

http://www.edinformatics.com/math_science/science_of_cooking/taste_molecules.htm

4/4