Identification of Bitterness-Masking Compounds from Cheese

Bitterness-masking compounds were identified in a natural white mold cheese. The oily fraction of the cheese was extracted and further fractionated by using silica gel column chromatography. The four fractions obtained were characterized by thin-layer chromatography and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The fatty acid-containing fraction was found to have the highest bitterness-masking activity against quinine hydrochloride. Bitterness-masking activity was quantitated using a method based on subjective equivalents. At 0.5 mM, the fatty acid mixture, which had a composition similar to that of cheese, suppressed the bitterness of 0.008% quinine hydrochloride to be equivalent to that of 0.0049–0.0060% and 0.5 mM oleic acid to that of 0.0032–0.0038% solution. The binding potential between oleic acid and the bitter compounds was estimated by isothermal titration calorimetry. These results suggest that oleic acid masked bitterness by forming a complex with the bitter compounds.