Identification of the Principle of Taste Sensors to Detect Non-Charged Bitter Substances by1H-NMR Measurement

Misaki Ishida, Haruna Ide, Keishiro Arima, Zeyu Zhao, Toshiro Matsui, Kiyoshi Toko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


A taste sensor with lipid/polymer membranes is attracting attention as a method to evaluate taste objectively. However, due to the characteristic of detecting taste by changes in membrane potential, taste sensors cannot measure non-charged bitter substances. Many foods and medicines contain non-charged bitter substances, and it is necessary to quantify these tastes with sensors. Therefore, we have been developing taste sensors to detect bitter tastes caused by non-charged substances such as caffeine. In previous studies, a sensor for detecting bitterness caused by caffeine and theobromine, theophylline, was developed, using a membrane modified with hydroxybenzoic acid (HBA) as the sensing part. The sensor was designed to form intramolecular hydrogen bonds (H-bonds) between the hydroxy group and carboxy group of HBA and to successively cause the intermolecular H-bonds between HBA and caffeine molecules to be measured. However, whether this sensing principle is correct or not cannot be confirmed from the results of taste sensor measurements. Therefore, in this study, we explored the interaction between HBA and caffeine by1H-nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR). By the1H NMR detection, we confirmed that both the substances interact with each other. Furthermore, the nuclear Overhauser effect (NOE) of intermolecular spatial conformation in solution was measured, by which 2,6-dihydroxybenzoic acid (2,6-DHBA) preferably interacted with caffeine via the H-bonding and stacking configuration between aromatic rings. Identifying the binding form of 2,6-DHBA to caffeine was estimated to predict how the two substances interact.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2592
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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