Use of enzymes to elucidate the factors contributing to bitterness in rye flavour

Raija-Liisa Heiniö (Corresponding Author), Emilia Nordlund, Kaisa Poutanen, Johanna Buchert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


In spite of the health-beneficial character of whole grain rye its use may be limited because of bitter taste. The impact of non-volatile chemical compounds on the bitter taste of rye was analysed by the aid of enzymatic hydrolysis, releasing potentially flavour-active compounds from the rye matrix. Whole grain rye flour–water suspension was treated with hydrolytic enzymes, whereafter portions of the rye suspensions were baked into crackers, assessed for their sensory profile as well as solubilised hydrolysis products. Heat treatment reduced the perceived bitterness. The treatment with enzyme preparation with high protease activity increased the bitterness of rye and also wheat flour both as suspension and as crackers. Other enzymes tested (with high polygalacturonase, endo-glucanase, xylanase or amyloglucosidase activity) had no significant impact on the perceived bitterness. Thus, small molecular weight peptides were considered to be a significant contributor to the bitter note of rye.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-38
Number of pages8
JournalFood Research International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Rye
  • whole grain
  • sensory evaluation
  • flavour
  • bitterness
  • enzymes
  • peptides

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