Taste Detection of Maltooligosaccharides with Varying Degrees of Polymerization

Previous studies have shown that humans can taste maltooligosaccharides [MOS; degree of polymerization (DP) of 3–20] but not maltopolysaccharides (MPS; DP of >20) and that their taste detection is independent of the canonical sweet taste receptor. The objectives of this study were to determine the DP ranges of target stimuli that are tasted and further to investigate the impact of DP on taste detectability. To achieve this goal, we prepared three food-grade MOS samples with narrow DP ranges using flash chromatography: low (4–6), medium (7–12), and high (14–21) DP samples. Following sample preparation, we asked subjects to discriminate the MOS stimuli from blanks after the stimuli were swabbed on the tip of tongue. All stimuli were initially presented at 75 mM.

Acarbose, an α-glucosidase inhibitor, was added to all stimuli, including blanks, to prevent oral hydrolysis of MOS. After determining that all three MOS samples were detected at a significant degree, we conducted follow-up studies to explore whether the detection of these samples differed at a range of concentrations (18–56 mM). The results showed that detection rates of medium- and high-DP MOS varied in a concentration-dependent manner (p < 0.05). In contrast, low-DP MOS showed a consistent detection rate across concentrations tested. These results demonstrate that humans can taste MOS stimuli of all chain lengths and that relative taste detection rates are generally similar across MOS with varying chain lengths.

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Taste Detection of Maltooligosaccharides with Varying Degrees of Polymerization, Laura E. Martin, Toren S. Andrewson, Michael H. Penner, and Juyun Lim, Cite this: J. Agric. Food Chem. 2023, Publication Date:April 21, 2023, https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.3c00910, © 2023 American Chemical Society

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