150 Food Science Questions Answered
Bryan L
Bryan L

150 Food Science Questions Answered

Bryan
6+yrs experience in Food Science, Fermented Foods, Flavor Chemistry, Functional Foods, Nutraceuticals
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Hello! I'm Dr. Bryan Quoc Le and I'm here to share with you my passion for taste and flavor! Whether we're talking about Texas-style barbecue or Taiwanese milk tea​,​ our taste buds are tantalized by tasty food. As the author of 150 Food Science Questions Answered (https://www.amazon.com/dp/1646118332/)​,​ I'm passionate about all things delicious. For more about me​,​ visit: http://www.bryanquocle.com Discover more daily insights about taste and flavor by subscribing below today!

Free posts from Bryan

Fermented Japanese Skipjack Tuna Contains a Debittering Agent
  • #food-processors
  • #food-producers
  • #food-startups
  • #food-technologists
A strong debittering agent was discovered in fermented skipjack tuna​,​ also known as bonito in Japanese. The compound​,​ known as N-acetylglutamic acid​,​ is a derivative of glutamic acid​,​ the principal flavor compound that activates umami. Despite being found in small quantities in most foods​,​ N-acetylglutamic acid is easily synthesized by acetylation of glutamic acid. Many supplements are acetylated​,​ like N-acetylcysteine or N-acetyltyrosine​,​ and so this could be an easy to produce ingredient.
Application(s) of this insight:
Debittering agents are essential for the formulation of foods and beverages. They're key for making tasty drinks containing CBD​,​ stevia​,​ and other natural ingredients with bitter aftertastes.
  • #taste
  • #flavor
  • #food-strcture
  • #meat-alternatives
  • #product-development
This science fact has been checked (see original research for more)
1
The Evolution of Taste IV
  • #chefs
  • #food-startups
  • #food-technologists
  • #dietitians
Taste is one of the ways our ancestors gathered information about our food. It’s part of our decision-making process that determines what we should or should not eat. Taste influences our thinking​,​ emotions​,​ and behavior when it comes to what we choose to ingest. Taste even drives unconscious ways our bodies metabolically handle the food when we ingest it. That’s because​,​ beyond our tongue​,​ there are taste receptors that line our gastrointestinal system. 🧠
Application(s) of this insight:
These receptors signal to our brain the nutritional content of our food. Our species has depended on these precise signals to differentiate tasty and toxic for our survival over millions of years.
  • #flavors
  • #meat
  • #meat-alternatives
  • #product-development
  • #wellbeing
  • #diets
This science fact has been checked (see original research for more)
2
The Evolution of Taste III
  • #chefs
  • #food-startups
  • #food-technologists
When animals have specialized diets​,​ their genes for certain taste buds can dwindle. They have fewer dietary decisions to make and do not require a full set of taste buds. For example​,​ pandas eat only bamboo. Many of their genes for the umami taste receptor are no longer functional. Animals that eat exclusively meat​,​ such as cats​,​ have lost their genes for sweet taste receptors all together. Aquatic carnivores have even fewer taste buds​,​ as they consume prey whole. 🐬
Application(s) of this insight:
However​,​ humans are omnivores and taste a wide variety of foods​,​ which contain a broad range of taste molecules. The ability to taste umami​,​ bitter​,​ and sweet are especially important for us.
  • #flavors
  • #meat
  • #meat-alternatives
  • #product-development
This science fact has been checked (see original research for more)
1

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Posts (96)

Fermented Japanese Skipjack Tuna Contains a Debittering Agent
Nov 19
  • #food-processors
  • #food-producers
  • #food-startups
  • #food-technologists
A strong debittering agent was discovered in fermented skipjack tuna​,​ also known as bonito in Japanese. The compound​,​ known as N-acetylglutamic acid​,​ is a derivative of glutamic acid​,​ the principal flavor compound that activates umami. Despite being found in small quantities in most foods​,​ N-acetylglutamic acid is easily synthesized by acetylation of glutamic acid. Many supplements are acetylated​,​ like N-acetylcysteine or N-acetyltyrosine​,​ and so this could be an easy to produce ingredient.
Application(s) of this insight:
Debittering agents are essential for the formulation of foods and beverages. They're key for making tasty drinks containing CBD​,​ stevia​,​ and other natural ingredients with bitter aftertastes.
  • #taste
  • #flavor
  • #food-strcture
  • #meat-alternatives
  • #product-development
This science fact has been checked (see original research for more)
1
+ Add note
The Evolution of Taste IV
Oct 25
  • #chefs
  • #food-startups
  • #food-technologists
  • #dietitians
Taste is one of the ways our ancestors gathered information about our food. It’s part of our decision-making process that determines what we should or should not eat. Taste influences our thinking​,​ emotions​,​ and behavior when it comes to what we choose to ingest. Taste even drives unconscious ways our bodies metabolically handle the food when we ingest it. That’s because​,​ beyond our tongue​,​ there are taste receptors that line our gastrointestinal system. 🧠
Application(s) of this insight:
These receptors signal to our brain the nutritional content of our food. Our species has depended on these precise signals to differentiate tasty and toxic for our survival over millions of years.
  • #flavors
  • #meat
  • #meat-alternatives
  • #product-development
  • #wellbeing
  • #diets
This science fact has been checked (see original research for more)
2
+ Add note
The Evolution of Taste III
Oct 23
  • #chefs
  • #food-startups
  • #food-technologists
When animals have specialized diets​,​ their genes for certain taste buds can dwindle. They have fewer dietary decisions to make and do not require a full set of taste buds. For example​,​ pandas eat only bamboo. Many of their genes for the umami taste receptor are no longer functional. Animals that eat exclusively meat​,​ such as cats​,​ have lost their genes for sweet taste receptors all together. Aquatic carnivores have even fewer taste buds​,​ as they consume prey whole. 🐬
Application(s) of this insight:
However​,​ humans are omnivores and taste a wide variety of foods​,​ which contain a broad range of taste molecules. The ability to taste umami​,​ bitter​,​ and sweet are especially important for us.
  • #flavors
  • #meat
  • #meat-alternatives
  • #product-development
This science fact has been checked (see original research for more)
1
+ Add note
The Evolution of Taste II
Oct 21
  • #chefs
  • #food-startups
  • #food-technologists
There are five types of taste for humans sweet​,​ sour​,​ bitter​,​ salt​,​ and umami. Of these​,​ salt and sour are picked up by proteins called ion channels. On the other hand​,​ sweet and umami are made up of a family of proteins called taste receptor type 1 (T1Rs). Bitterness is detected by another family of taste proteins called taste receptor type 2 (T2Rs). The types of compounds that cause bitterness​,​ mostly toxic compounds​,​ are by far the most complex and diverse. ☣️
Application(s) of this insight:
Humans have by far the most encoded genes for bitter taste receptors​,​ with up to 25. The genes that gave us the ability to detect toxins in food and the environment must have been highly selected.
  • #flavors
  • #meat
  • #meat-alternatives
  • #product-development
This science fact has been checked (see original research for more)
1
+ Add note
The Evolution of Taste I
Oct 20
  • #chefs
  • #food-startups
  • #food-technologists
Taste is one of the most rudimentary senses in our genetic toolbox. The biochemical machinery to sense chemicals in water may have evolved as far back as 500 million years ago. And the first complete taste bud to appear in evolutionary history is believed to be for umami. Genes that encode for a sensor to the amino acid glutamate were found in the genome of elephant sharks​,​ which branched off from fish some 400 million years ago. The taste of umami is quite ancient. 👅
Application(s) of this insight:
Umami compounds trigger a very old set of biochemical processes that are hardwired into our genome. Umami is older than bitterness​,​ which may have evolved only when animals started eating land plants.
  • #flavors
  • #meat
  • #meat-alternatives
  • #product-development
This science fact has been checked (see original research for more)
1
+ Add note
On Meat and Meatiness V
Oct 16
  • #food-technologists
  • #food-processors
  • #food-producers
  • #food-startups
Ribonucleotides are intense umami enhancers. Inosinates in particular are found in high concentration in organ meats and animal protein. These RNA-based umami molecules raise the levels of uric acid in blood. During the Miocene age​,​ humans developed a mutation in the uricase enzyme​,​ resulting in steadier uric acid blood levels during times of famine. The need for ribonucleotides drives the taste for umami. But nowadays​,​ elevated blood levels of uric acid can lead to gout. 👅
Application(s) of this insight:
All umami-rich foods are high in purines​,​ which leads to elevated uric acid levels. That means foods that have intense umami flavor can increases the likelihood of gout in older consumers.
  • #flavors
  • #meat
  • #meat-alternatives
  • #product-development
  • #nutrition
This science fact has been checked (see original research for more)
+ Add note
On Meat and Meatiness IV
Oct 16
  • #food-technologists
  • #food-processors
  • #food-producers
  • #food-startups
There are literally hundreds of molecules that make up meat flavor. The dominant classes are sulfur compounds​,​ ketones​,​ and aldehydes. Sulfurous aromas are formed when cysteine and methionine react with ribose​,​ a type of sugar that makes up DNA and RNA​,​ during cooking. Ketones and aldehydes are formed from the break down of unsaturated fats. The diet of animals​,​ which contributes to the levels and types of fats​,​ amino acids​,​ and sugars in tissues​,​ plays a large in the final flavor. 🍗
Application(s) of this insight:
By understanding the impact of diet on the composition of meat and other proteins​,​ we can control the flavor of the final product. The levels of fats​,​ sulfurs​,​ and sugars are critical for flavor.
  • #flavors
  • #meat
  • #meat-alternatives
  • #product-development
This science fact has been checked (see original research for more)
+ Add note
On Meat and Meatiness III
Oct 14
  • #food-technologists
  • #food-processors
  • #food-producers
  • #food-startups
Glutathione-enriched yeast is a powerhouse of flavor. Boasting high levels of glutamic acid​,​ nucleotides​,​ glutathione​,​ sugars​,​ and peptides​,​ yeast is the complete package for savory flavors. The Maillard reaction offers a way to design meat-like flavors using glutathione-enriched yeast. As an excellent source of sulfur precursors​,​ this yeast produces a wide variety of sulfur-based flavor products when heated with cysteine and ribose. Beef-like flavors can even be optimized. 🐄
Application(s) of this insight:
The optimal conditions for beef-like flavors are 1:5 yeast to water​,​ 160° C​,​ 7.0% ribose​,​ 2.0% cysteine​,​ and a pH of 5.17. Lower pH favors the formation of H₂2 as a Maillard reactant.
  • #flavors
  • #meat
  • #meat-alternatives
  • #product-development
This science fact has been checked (see original research for more)
1
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On Meat and Meatiness II
Oct 13
  • #food-technologists
  • #food-processors
  • #food-producers
  • #food-startups
Glutathione is a peptide made up of three amino acids - glycine​,​ cysteine​,​ and glutamic acid. During cooking and heating​,​ glutathione undergoes the Maillard reaction with reducing sugars to produce meat-like flavors. The cysteine contains a sulfur atom​,​ which participates in the reaction by producing sulfur-rich molecules such as 2-furfurylthiol​,​ thiophene​,​ and dimethyl disulfide. These are some of the molecules that give roasted meat its characteristic aroma and flavor. 🥩
Application(s) of this insight:
Glutathione not only adds kokumi savoriness​,​ but also produces meaty flavors during the Maillard reaction. This peptide is essential for mimicking desirable meat flavors in plant-based products.
  • #flavors
  • #meat
  • #meat-alternatives
  • #product-development
This science fact has been checked (see original research for more)
1
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On Meat and Meatiness I
Oct 12
  • #food-technologists
  • #food-processors
  • #food-producers
  • #food-startups
One of the most abundant antioxidants found in all animal tissue is glutathione. This compound is especially concentrated in beef​,​ chicken​,​ pork​,​ and scallops. The molecule activates the intense taste of kokumi​,​ the sixth taste that enhances the intensity and longevity of savory flavors. Glutathione at 0.04% of the mass is needed to initiate this effect on our tongue. When combined with umami-eliciting compounds​,​ much less glutathione (0.01%) is needed to create the same taste effect. 🐖
Application(s) of this insight:
Glutathione-rich foods​,​ when paired with glutamic acid and ribonucleotides​,​ enhance the savoriness of soups​,​ broths​,​ and meats. 0.05% glutamic acid and 0.05% inosinate lowers the threshold to 0.01%.
  • #flavors
  • #meat
  • #meat-alternatives
  • #product-development
This science fact has been checked (see original research for more)
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Creator

Bryan L

Hello, I'm Bryan.

6+yrs experience in Food Science, Fermented Foods, Flavor Chemistry, Functional Foods, Nutraceuticals

Hi! I'm Dr. Bryan Quoc Le​,​ a PhD-level food scientist​,​ food industry consultant​,​ and author of 150 Food Science Questions Answered (https://www.amazon

Hi! I'm Dr. Bryan Quoc Le​,​ a PhD-level food scientist​,​ food industry consultant​,​ and author of 150 Food Science Questions Answered (https://www.amazon