Journal of agricultural and food chemistry

New Umami Amides: Structure-Taste Relationship Studies of Cinnamic Acid Derived Amides and the Natural Occurrence of an Intense Umami Amide in Zanthoxylum piperitum.

PMID 26230212


A series of aromatic amides were synthesized from various acids and amines selected from naturally occurring structural frameworks. These synthetic amides were evaluated for umami taste in comparison with monosodium glutamate. The effect of the substitution pattern of both the acid and the amine parts on umami taste was investigated. The only intensely umami-tasting amides were those made from 3,4-dimethoxycinnamic acid. The amine part was more tolerant to structural changes. Amides bearing an alkyl- or alkoxy-substituted phenylethylamine residue displayed a clean umami taste as 20 ppm solutions in water. Ultraperformance liquid chromatography coupled with a high quadrupole-Orbitrap mass spectrometer (UPLC/MS) was subsequently used to show the natural occurrence of these amides. (E)-3-(3,4-Dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(4-methoxyphenethyl)acrylamide was shown to occur in the roots and stems of Zanthoxylum piperitum, a plant of the family Rutaceae growing in Korea, Japan, and China.