• bitter taste;
  • degree of hydrolysis;
  • enzymatic hydrolysis;
  • soy protein isolate;
  • taste dilution analysis

ABSTRACT:  Although enzymatic hydrolysates of soy protein isolate (SPI) have physiological functionality, partially hydrolyzed SPI exhibits bitter taste depending on proteases and degree of hydrolysis (DH). To determine proteolysis conditions for SPI, it is important to evaluate bitterness during enzymatic hydrolysis. Taste dilution analysis (TDA) has been developed for the screening technique of taste-active compounds in foods. The objectives of the present study were to evaluate bitterness of enzyme-hydrolyzed SPI by TDA and to compare bitterness of SPI hydrolysates with respect to kinds of proteases and DH. SPI was hydrolyzed at 50 °C and pH 6.8 to 7.1 to obtain various DH with commercial proteases (flavourzyme, alcalase, neutrase, protamex, papain, and bromelain) at E/S ratios of 0.5%, 1%, and 2%. The DH of enzymatic hydrolysates was measured by trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid method. The bitterness of enzymatic hydrolysates was evaluated by TDA, which is based on threshold detection in serially diluted samples. Taste dilution (TD) factor was defined as the dilution at which a taste difference between the diluted sample and 2 blanks could be detected. As DH increased, the bitterness increased for all proteases evaluated. Alcalase showed the highest TD factor at the same DH, followed by neutrase. Flavourzyme showed the lowest TD factor at the entire DH ranges. At the DH of 10%, TD factor of hydrolysate by flavourzyme was 0 whereas those by protamex and alcalase were 4 and 16, respectively. These results suggest that TDA could be applied for the alternative of bitterness evaluation to the hedonic scale sensory evaluation.