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Sweet and Umami Taste: Natural Products, Their Chemosensory Targets, and Beyond

Authors

  • Dr. Maik Behrens,

    1. Department of Molecular Genetics, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, Arthur-Scheunert-Allee 114–116, 14558 Nuthetal (Germany), Fax: (+49) 3320088-384
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  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Meyerhof,

    1. Department of Molecular Genetics, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, Arthur-Scheunert-Allee 114–116, 14558 Nuthetal (Germany), Fax: (+49) 3320088-384
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  • Caroline Hellfritsch,

    1. Chair of Food Chemistry and Molecular Sensory Science, Technische Universität München, Lise-Meitnerstrasse 34, 85354 Freising-Weihenstephan (Germany), Fax: (+49) 8161/71-2949
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  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Hofmann

    Corresponding author
    1. Chair of Food Chemistry and Molecular Sensory Science, Technische Universität München, Lise-Meitnerstrasse 34, 85354 Freising-Weihenstephan (Germany), Fax: (+49) 8161/71-2949
    • Chair of Food Chemistry and Molecular Sensory Science, Technische Universität München, Lise-Meitnerstrasse 34, 85354 Freising-Weihenstephan (Germany), Fax: (+49) 8161/71-2949
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Abstract

Much of our appreciation of food is due to the excitement of the perception of “sweet” and “umami” taste. With a special focus on natural products, this Review gives a summary of compounds that elicit and modulate “sweet” or “umami” taste responses. It will be discussed how the interaction of these molecules with the oral sweet and umami taste receptors stimulates receptor cells to secrete neurotransmitters to induce neural activity that is conveyed to the cerebral cortex to represent sweet and umami taste, respectively. Recent data also show that a sweet taste is metabolically relevant for fuel homeostasis and linked to appetitive ingestive behavior.

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