M. Chadwick et al., Food Chemistry, Volume 197, Part A, 15 April 2016
Lettuce is an important leafy vegetable, consumed across the world, containing bitter sesquiterpenoid lactone (SL) compounds that may negatively affect consumer acceptance and consumption.
We assessed liking of samples with differing absolute abundance and different ratios of bitter:sweet compounds by analysing recombinant inbred lines (RILs) from an interspecific lettuce mapping population derived from a cross between a wild (L. serriola acc. UC96US23) and domesticated lettuce (L. sativa, cv. Salinas).
We found that the ratio of bitter:sweet compounds was a key determinant of bitterness perception and liking.
We were able to demonstrate that SLs, such as 8-deoxylactucin-15-sulphate, contribute most strongly to bitterness perception, whilst 15-p-hydroxylphenylacetyllactucin-8-sulphate does not contribute to bitter taste.
Glucose was the sugar most highly correlated with sweetness perception.
There is a genetic basis to the biochemical composition of lettuce.
This information will be useful in lettuce breeding programmes in order to produce leaves with more favourable taste profiles.
M. Chadwick, F. Gawthrop, R.W. Michelmore, C. Wagstaff, L. Methven, Perception of bitterness, sweetness and liking of different genotypes of lettuce, Food Chemistry, Volume 197, Part A, 15 April 2016, Pages 66-74, ISSN 0308-8146, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.10.105.
Picture, Lactuca serriola by www.uvm.edu