Abstract

An aqaeous extract from the pulp of the plant Pentadiplandra brazzeana Baillon (Pentadiplandraceae) yielded a strong sweet-tasting material. This sweet principle was isolated by water extraction, ultrafiltration and gel filtration. The conclusion that this substance must be of a proteinaceous nature was based on amino acid analysis, characteristic UV-absorption spectrum and positive colour reaction with Coomassie brilliant blue. The mol. wt of the subunit of the sweet protein was estimated to be ˜ 12 000 daltons. The sweetness intensity of the whole protein was ˜ 500 times that of sucrose on a weight basis. The taste response in a Rhesus monkey to a 0.1 % solution was comparable to the response to a 0.02 % monellin solution. We propose the name ‘pentadin’ for this sweet-tasting protein and present a few comments about the possible origin of such sugar mimics.

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