Patent Number: 6,166,076

Title: Taste enhancing food additives

Abstract: Cis-polyunsaturated fatty acids stimulate taste receptor cells in the mouth. The addition of free fatty acids to foods, such as low calorie fat substitutes or sugar substitutes, can make the foods more palatable. Certain ion channels in taste receptor cells are directly sensitive to extracellular applications of free fatty acids. Free fatty acids inhibit the "delayed rectifying potassium channel" in taste receptor cells. Fatty acids exhibiting these properties are those having at least two double bonds, at least one of which is in the cis confirmation, i.e., cis-polyunsaturated fatty acids. The time for taste receptor cells to return to the "resting" state is longer following fatty acid stimulation than for other taste stimuli, thus increasing the taste receptor cell sensitivity to other stimuli, i.e., sugar or other sweet stimuli.

Inventors: Gilbertson; Timothy A. (St. Amant, LA)

Assignee: Board of Supervisors of Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College

International Classification: A23L 1/236 (20060101); A23L 1/30 (20060101); A61K 031/185 (); A61K 031/20 (); A61K 031/21 (); A61K 033/42 ()

Expiration Date: 12/26/2013