6649 – An Economical and Chemical-free Method to Reduce Bitterness & Off-Flavors of Stevia

The invention provides a physical method of improving sensoryattributes associated with steviol glycosides inbeverages. Stevia sweetenersare attractive source of sweetness considering they are natural, low calorie,and 300 times sweeter than sugar. Theyare labelled as high intensity sweeteners. They are composed of highly purified steviolglycosides, which are extracted from Steviarebaudiana leaves. Stevia sweetenersare FDA-approved since 2008 and used worldwide but they present several sensorydisadvantages that limit their extensive use in food and beverage products: Oneof them is the bitter or metallic aftertaste. Existing approaches rely onchemical modifications, flavor enhancers, and taste modifiers. However, thoseapproaches accounts for substandard yield of end-products. Professor Rizvi’sgroup has developed a method to reduce the bitterness aftertaste and the off-flavorsof stevia sweeteners. The principlebehind the invention is to control interactions between rebaudioside A (Reb A)- a steviol glycosides molecule – and the taste receptors by mimicking theaffinity profile of sugar in water; high intensity sweeteners are known as morehydrophobic than sugar molecule. Concurrently, theinventors intended on exposing the hydrophilic sugar moieties of Reb A and sequesteringits hydrophobic diterperne, which causes the bitter after-taste. For thatpurpose, they designed a physical modification of Reb A by generating a stableRebA-protein complex (RPC), where the binding protein used can be bovine serumalbumin (BSA), or other carrier protein with binding affinity for Reb A. Proof of concept Experiments inorange juice as food matrix showed that the RPC (RebA-BSA) was stable underdifferent conditions of temperature (ranges from 4°C to 40°C) and pH (from 3 to6.7). Aris Despo add74@cornell.edu 607-254-4698

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