Sensory perception of and salivary protein response to astringency as a function of the 6-n-propylthioural (PROP) bitter-taste phenotype
AbstractIndividual differences in astringency perception are poorly understood. Astringency from tannins stimulates the release of specific classes of salivary proteins. These proteins form complexes with tannins, altering their perceived astringency and reducing their bioavailability. We studied the bitter compound, 6-n-propylthioural (PROP), as a phenotypic marker for variation in astringency perception and salivary protein responses. Seventy-nine subjects classified by PROP taster status rated cranberry juice cocktail (CJC; with added sugar) supplemented with 0, 1.5 or 2.0 g/L tannic acid (TA). Saliva for protein analyses was collected at rest, or after stimulation with TA or cranberry juice (CJ; without added sugar). CJC with 1.5 g/L tannic acid was found to be less astringent, and was liked more by PROP non-taster males than PROP taster males, consistent with the expectation that non-tasters are less sensitive to astringency. Levels of acidic Proline Rich Proteins (aPRPs) and basic Proline Rich Proteins (bPRPs) decreased after TA, while levels of aPRPs, bPRPs and Cystatins unexpectedly rose after CJ. Increases in bPRPs and Cystatins were only observed in PROP tasters. The PROP phenotype plays a gender-specific, but somewhat limited role in the perceived astringency of tannic-acid supplemented, cranberry juice cocktail. The PROP phenotype (regardless of gender) may also be involved in the release of salivary proteins previously implicated in oral health.
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