The Potential of Thaumatin as a New Sweetener
Thaumatin, a protein-based sweetener, is currently under laboratory research and development. With significant theoretical and practical value, it has the potential to replace sucrose as a novel sweetener in the future. Thaumatin offers numerous advantages over other sweeteners like sucrose, such as high nutritional value, sweetness that is 3000 times stronger, lower caloric content, and a variety of potential applications in the food and feed industries.
Market Opportunities for Thaumatin
The development of thaumatin products promises great commercial value. Based on its sweetness, 1g of thaumatin is equivalent to 2-3kg of sucrose. At current market prices, 1kg of thaumatin is worth 8000-12000 yuan, making 1 ton of thaumatin worth 80-100 million yuan. As the production cost of thaumatin derived from genetically engineered organisms continues to decrease, its market price will become more affordable and attract more consumers due to its unparalleled advantages.
Thaumatin Gene as a Marker
The thaumatin gene can also be utilized as a marker gene, as its sweetness can be detected in a very short time. Unlike traditional marker genes such as NOS, NPTⅡ, CAT, and GUS, thaumatin does not require complex tissue culture techniques and expensive costs. This makes it a convenient method for farmers to use in the field, especially for detecting genetically modified crops and their offspring.
Understanding Thaumatin’s Mechanism for Developing New Sweeteners
Studying the interaction between thaumatin and sweet taste receptors can help elucidate its mechanism of action, providing a theoretical basis for the development of new sweeteners. The distinct structure of thaumatin compared to other sweet-tasting proteins suggests that its functional region for interacting with receptors is localized. By investigating the complementary structures between thaumatin as a ligand and its receptor, a complementary structure model can be established, laying the foundation for drug design and development.