Kokumi-active glutamyl peptides in cheeses and their biogeneration by penicillium roquefortii

Simone Toelstede, Thomas Hofmann

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88 Scopus citations


Recently, a group of γ-glutamyl dipeptides, but not the R-glutamyl dipeptides, were found to induce the attractive kokumi flavor of matured Gouda cheese. In the present investigation, the spatial distribution of R- and γ-glutamyl dipeptides in Gouda cheese wheels and the concentration of these peptides in other cheese types were determined by means of HPLC-MS/MS. Among all cheeses investigated, by far the highest γ-glutamyl peptide concentration (3590 μmol/kg) was found for Blue Shropshire, a blue-veined cheese. To check whether the γ-glutamyl transferase (GGT) from Penicillium roquefortii is involved in γ-glutamyl peptide production in this cheese, the GGT activity was measured and γ-glutamyl peptides were analyzed in liquid cultures of mold isolated from Blue Shropshire as well as single P. roquefortiii strains incubated with the γ-glutamyl donor L-glutamine and the candidate substrates L-glutamic acid, L-histidine, L-leucine, and L-methionine. Being well in line with the GGT activity found in Blue Shropshire, P. roquefortii was found for the first time to produce and secrete γ-glutamyl peptides. Among the amino acids tested, L-methionine was found as a preferred γ-glutamyl acceptor; for example, γ-Glu-Met was produced in yields of about 50 mmol/ mol and [ 2H 3]- γ-Glu-Met was obtained when [ 2H 3]-L-methionine was used as substrate amino acid

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3738-3748
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of agricultural and food chemistry
Issue number9
StatePublished - 13 May 2009


  • GGT; γ-glutamyl peptides
  • Penicillium roquefortii
  • cheese
  • kokumi
  • mouthfulness
  • taste
  • γ-Glutamyl transferase


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