Flavor characteristics of glutathione in raw and cooked foodstuffs

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 1997 Dec;61(12):1977-80. doi: 10.1271/bbb.61.1977.


The flavor of glutathione (gamma-L-glutamyl-L-cysteinylglycine, GSH) was examined by several sensory evaluations. The measurement of a point of subjective equality (PSE) showed that the peptide increases the flavor characteristics but did not affect the intensity of basic tastes, such as sweetness, saltiness, sourness, and umami. However, the threshold value of GSH decreased significantly in an umami solution containing 0.05% each of monosodium glutamate (MSG) and disodium inosinate (IMP). This suggests that GSH interacts with the umami substance and has a certain effect on the flavor. GSH had a characteristic kokumi flavor, such as continuity, mouthfulness, and thickness in the umami solution as well as in a model beef extract constructed from analyzed components at a concentration of 0.02% w/v. Some foodstuffs, including meat, were found to contain GSH above its threshold value, which implicates the contribution of GSH to the flavor. The thermal degradation study suggested that a part of GSH have changed into its disulfide, pyroglutamic acid (PCA), and cyclocysteinylglycine in cooked foodstuffs.

MeSH terms

  • Cooking*
  • Flavoring Agents / chemistry*
  • Food Analysis*
  • Glutathione / chemistry*
  • Hot Temperature
  • Inosine Monophosphate / chemistry
  • Meat Products / analysis
  • Sodium Glutamate / chemistry
  • Sweetening Agents


  • Flavoring Agents
  • Sweetening Agents
  • Inosine Monophosphate
  • Glutathione
  • Sodium Glutamate