Molecular analysis reveals a new biosynthetic route for HDMF

May 23, 2013 |

In Germany, Technische Universitaet Muenchen scientists have mapped the reaction path of 4-hydroxy-2,5-dimethyl-3(2H)-furanone, also known as  Furaneol. Because it is not just our sense of taste that determines what a foodstuff “tastes” like, but also our sense of smell – and strawberries provide a good example of this.

The characteristic aroma of a fresh strawberry is the result of around a dozen different aroma compounds, including HDMF which is also found in pineapples and tomatoes. In the course of their research, the scientists discovered that the catalytic reaction involved a hitherto unknown mechanism.

The compound is reduced and electrons are specifically transferred to a particular part of the molecule. Thus, the FaEO enzyme represents the first member of new class of biocatalysts – a discovery which could lead to useful applications in industrial biotechnology.

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