Glycyrrhetic acid monoglucuronide: sweetness concentration–response and molecular mechanism as a naturally high-potency sweetener

  • Yongan Yang
  • Yuangang Wei
  • Xiaonan Guo
  • Pengfei Qi
  • Hailiang Zhu
  • Wenjian TangEmail author


Glycyrrhetic acid monoglucuronide (GAM) is obtained from the natural sweetener glycyrrhizin through enzymolysis. Its sweetness concentration–response (C–R) behavior in room-temperature in water was determined using two-alternative forced choice discrimination tests. The C–R equation of resultant hyperbolic curve relating sucrose equivalent (SE, %) to GAM concentration ([GAM], mg/L) was SE = 19.6 × [GAM]/(194.8 + [GAM]). From the C–R function, Pw (2) of GAM, relative to a 2% (w/v) sucrose reference, is more than 900, which has much higher potency than its precursor glycyrrhizin. Molecular modeling showed that GAM is finely bound into protein 1EWK through conventional hydrogen bonds, π-Alkyl interactions and Van der Waals bonds, which exhibited better protein inclusion than Glycyrrhizin. Thus, GAM could be developed as a new zero-calorie, naturally high-potency sweetener.


Glycyrrhetic acid Sweetener Sensory evaluation High-potency Molecular modeling 



This study was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province under Grant [BK20160570].

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society of Food Science and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yongan Yang
    • 1
  • Yuangang Wei
    • 1
  • Xiaonan Guo
    • 1
  • Pengfei Qi
    • 2
  • Hailiang Zhu
    • 2
  • Wenjian Tang
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Elion-Nature Biological Technology Co., LtdNanjingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, School of Life SciencesNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.School of PharmacyAnhui Medical UniversityHefeiChina

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