Two novel peptides found in peanut protein may give rise to intense umami flavour and umami flavour enhancing abilities, according to a study conducted by researchers of the South China University of Technology.

The researchers of the study, titled ‘Isolation and identification of two novel umami and umami-enhancing peptides from peanut hydrolysate by consecutive chromatography and MALDI-TOF/TOF MS’, have observed novel taste peptides in peanut protein waste that could create strong umami and umami-enhancing effects.

Umami flavour, the fifth basic taste discovered by a Japanese scientist, Kikunae Ikeda, has a savoury, mouthfulness or monosodium glutamate (MSG)-like taste, which is significatnly different from sweet, sour, bitter and salty.

Published in Food Chemistry, the report revealed that the researchers noticed and purified two novel peptides from peanut hydrolysate following its treatment with crude protease extract, reported

The research team, led by professor Mouming Zhao, said that peanut hydrolysate is prepared from defatted peanut meal, which is a major byproduct in peanut oil production.

The study has been conducted on peanut hydrolysate extracted fromAspergillus oryzae HN 3.042 – obersving that certain extracts produced umami and umami-enhancing effects.

The Chinese research team tested the taste profiles, amino acid and organic acid composition of the hydrolysate after separation and filteration, in order to indentiy the peptides responsible for such effects.

Peanut hydrolysate was mainly low molecular weight compound, and has fractions of 1-3kDa and below 1kDa prominently contributed to the umami taste and umami-enhancing effect, the researchers said.

With the help of further purification and sensory evaluation techniques, the researchers noticed and obtained two novel peptides – umami flavor peptide and umami-enhancing peptide.

On the ground of results obtanined from this study, the researchers believes that more work is required to synthesise the purified peptide and clarify relationships between structure and taste of these peptides.