Modified monellin protein may have industry potential, say researchers

By Nathan Gray

- Last updated on GMT

A natural high potency, low calorie, sweetener known as modified monellin protein could have potential uses in the food and beverage industry, say researchers.

A new study focuses on the sensory characterisation of the natural sweetener compound modified monellin protein (MNEI) for application in the food and beverage industry. The research, led by Rossella Di Monaco from the University of Naples, Italy, the research team determined the detection threshold (DT) and recognition threshold (RT) of MNEI in different conditions typical of beverage processing and beverage consumption.

“This study confirms that MNEI is a natural high-potency sweetener because the sweet taste RT is about 3,000 times lower than the sweet taste recognition threshold of the sucrose measured with the same assessors,”​ said Di Monaco and her colleagues writing in the Journal of Sensory Studies.

“Besides, both mineral content and serving temperature affected MNEI detection threshold, whereas pH and thermal treatment did not affect the perceived sweetness,”​ they added.

The team explained that the study represents the first steps in the characterisation of modified monellin protein:

“Because MNEI is a high-potency sweetener, it could be used in the beverage industry, meeting consumer needs for low-calorie content,”​ they team suggested.

“Although sweeteners are not consumed at their threshold concentrations, the data in this article are an important scientific contribution to the knowledge of MNEI sensory performance.”

Source: Journal of Sensory Studies
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1111/joss.12020
“Taste Detection and Recognition Thresholds of The Modified Monellin Sweetener: MNEI”
Authors: R. Di Monaco, N.A. Miele, D. Picone, P. Masi, S. Cavella

Related topics: Science

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