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Biotechnol Adv. 2001 Sep;19(5):355-70.

Debittering of protein hydrolyzates.

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Fermentation Biochemistry Research Unit, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Agricultural Research Service, US Department of Agriculture, Peoria, IL 61604, USA.


Enzymatic hydrolysis of proteins frequently results in bitter taste, which is due to the formation of low molecular weight peptides composed of mainly hydrophobic amino acids. Methods for debittering of protein hydrolyzates include selective separation such as treatment with activated carbon, extraction with alcohol, isoelectric precipitation, chromatography on silica gel, hydrophobic interaction chromatography, and masking of bitter taste. Bio-based methods include further hydrolysis of bitter peptides with enzymes such as aminopeptidase, alkaline/neutral protease and carboxypeptidase, condensation reactions of bitter peptides using protease, and use of Lactobacillus as a debittering starter adjunct. The causes for the production of bitter peptides in various food protein hydrolyzates and the development of methods for the prevention, reduction, and elimination of bitterness as well as masking of bitter taste in enzymatic protein hydrolyzates are presented.

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