Have you heard about brazzein?


Have you heard about brazzein? It is a sweetener –  but a very special one. It’s not a sugar but a protein which sensed sweet by humans (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7957951). In fact, it has been found to be 2,000x sweeter than sucrose.

So, why is this super-sweetener not on the market yet? Cause it was found in a pretty rare and complicated exotic plant: Pentadiplandra brazzeana (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentadiplandra – see picture). Their fruits are incredibly sweet and called “Oubli” by locals who traditionally consume them (http://www.africamuseum.be/prelude/prelude_pic/Pentadiplandra_brazzeana3.jpg). Brazzein is not the only sweetening factor found in Oublis. Another sweet protein called pentadin can be found in them as well.

Now, a French company is out to industrially mass-produce recombinat Brazzein. For this they enlisted the German Biotech company Brain (http://www.brain-biotech.de/content/files/schulterblicke/08_Berufung_BRAIN_Silke_M.pdf). Currently, the project to start an economic biotech production of brazzein is still ongoing. However, the first steps have been climbed: Brazzein can already…

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