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J Biosci Bioeng. 2006 Nov;102(5):375-89.

Developments in biotechnological production of sweet proteins.

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  • 1Division of Food Science and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University, Uji, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan.


Most proteins are tasteless and flavorless, while some proteins elicit a sweet-taste response on the human palate. Six proteins, thaumatin, monellin, mabinlin, brazzein, egg lysozyme, and neoculin (previously considered as curculin) have been identified as sweet-tasting proteins. However, no common features among them have been observed. Herein, recent advances in the research of sweet-tasting proteins and the production of such proteins by biotechnological approaches are reviewed. Information on the structure-sweetness relationship for these proteins would help not only in the clarification of the mechanism of interaction of sweet-tasting proteins with their receptors, but also in the design of more effective low-calorie sweeteners.

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