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Differences in glutamic acid and 5'-ribonucleotide contents between flesh and pulp of tomatoes and the relationship with umami taste

Oruna-Concha, M.J., Methven, L., Blumenthal, H., Young, C. and Mottram, D.S. (2007) Differences in glutamic acid and 5'-ribonucleotide contents between flesh and pulp of tomatoes and the relationship with umami taste. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 55 (14). pp. 5776-5780. ISSN 0021-8561

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1021/jf070791p

Abstract/Summary

A difference in taste characteristics between the outer flesh and the inner pulp of tomatoes has been observed; in particular the pulp, which contains the seeds, had more umami taste. Analysis of the free amino acids and 5 '-ribonucleotides in the different parts of 13 varieties of tomatoes showed that in all cases the pulp contained higher levels of glutamic acid, 5 '-adenosine monophosphate (AMP), 5 '-guanosine monophosphate, 5 '-uridine monophosphate, and 5 '-cytidine monophosphate. The mean concentration of glutamic acid in the flesh was 1.26 g/kg and that in the pulp 4.56 g/kg but in some varieties the difference between pulp and flesh was more than 6-fold. For AMP, the mean concentration in the flesh was 80 mg/kg and that in the pulp was 295 mg/kg with one variety showing an 11-fold difference between pulp and flesh. These differences in concentration of these compounds, which are known to possess umami characteristics, provide an explanation for the perceived difference in umami taste between the flesh and pulp of tomatoes.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences
ID Code:13108
Uncontrolled Keywords:tomato, glutamic acid, 5'-ribonucleotides, umami

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