Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry

Evaluation of the suppressive effect on bitter taste of gluconate.

PMID 23221707


Gluconate is used as an additive in a wide range of processed foods. In this study, we investigated its utility as a taste-improving substance. To determine whether it has a suppressive effect on bitter taste, sensory evaluations were performed by human subjects. When gluconate was added to a quinine-HCl (QHCl) solution, the taste intensity decreased, but this effect was not observed when it was added to caffeine and to naringin solutions. Then we investigated the mechanism of suppression by performing behavioral and electrophysiological assays on mice. In mice, the addition of gluconate improved the taste preference for and reduced the gustatory nerve response to QHCl. In sum, gluconate had a suppressive effect on the bitter taste of QHCl, which might have been caused by depression of gustatory nerve activity.