Rubemamine and Rubescenamine, Two Naturally Occurring N‑Cinnamoyl Phenethylamines with Umami-Taste-Modulating Properties

Sensory screening of a series of naturally occurring N-cinnamoyl derivatives of substituted phenethylamines revealed that rubemamine (9, from Chenopodium album) and rubescenamine (10, from Zanthoxylum rubsecens) elicit strong intrinsic umami taste in water at 50 and 10 ppm, respectively. Sensory tests in glutamate- and nucleotide-containing bases showed that the compounds influence the whole flavor profile of savory formulations. Both rubemamine (9) and rubescenamine (10) at 10–100 ppm dose-dependently positively modulated the umami taste of MSG (0.17–0.22%) up to threefold. Among the investigated amides, only rubemamine (9) and rubescenamine (10) are able to directly activate the TAS1R1-TAS1R3 umami taste receptor. Moreover, both compounds also synergistically modulated the activation of TAS1R1-TAS1R3 by MSG. Most remarkably, rubemamine (9) was able to further positively modulate the IMP-enhanced TAS1R1-TAS1R3 response to MSG ∼1.8-fold. Finally, armatamide (11), zanthosinamide (13), and dioxamine (14), which lack intrinsic umami taste in vivo and direct receptor response in vitro, also positively modulated receptor activation by MSG about twofold and the IMP-enhanced MSG-induced TAS1R1-TAS1R3 responses approximately by 50%. In sensory experiments, dioxamine (14) at 25 ppm in combination with 0.17% MSG exhibited a sensory equivalent to 0.37% MSG.