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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2018 Feb;82(2):200-206. doi: 10.1080/09168451.2017.1422385. Epub 2018 Jan 12.

Physiological responses to taste signals of functional food components.

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a Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences , The University of Tokyo , Tokyo , Japan.


The functions of food have three categories: nutrition, palatability, and bioregulation. As the onset of lifestyle-related diseases has increased, many people have shown interest in functional foods that are beneficial to bioregulation. We believe that functional foods should be highly palatable for increased acceptance from consumers. In order to design functional foods with a high palatability, we have investigated about the palatability, especially in relation to the taste of food. In this review, we discuss (1) the identification of taste receptors that respond to functional food components; (2) an analysis of the peripheral taste transduction system; and (3) the investigation of the relationship between physiological functions and taste signals.


Cplxs: complexins; DCLK1: double cortin-like kinase 1; EC: (-)–epicatechin; ECg: (-)–epicatechin gallate; EGC: (-)–epigallocatechin; EGCg: (-)–epigallocatechin gallate; Food function; PKD: Polycystic kidney disease; functional food; functional food component; taste signal

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