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Researchers Identify Umami Flavors, Umami-Enhancers in Peanut Protein

Posted: May 11, 2012

A team of researchers led by Mouming Zhao at South China University of Technology has identified novel peptides in peanut hydrolysate that can produce strong umami and umami-enhancing flavors. A study published in the journal Food Chemistry explains that the team extracted peanut hydrolysate from Aspergillus oryzae HN 3.042 and found "intense umami and umami-enhancing effects." They evaluated taste profiles, amino acid and organic compositions of the hydrolysate and found two fractions that primarily contributed to that effect. They further purified those to identify two active peptides— umami-flavor Ser-Ser-Arg-Asn-Glu-Gln-Ser-Arg (SSRNEQSR, 963.9 Da) and umami-enhancer Glu-Gly-Ser-Glu-Ala-Pro-Asp-Gly-Ser-Ser-Arg (EGSEAPDGSSR, 1091.1 Da).

Further research is needed to purify the peptides and clarify the relationship between their structures and tastes. The full study is available online.