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The Parts Of Taste Molecules

gray= carbon atoms
white= hydrogen atoms
light blue= nitrogen atoms
dark blue= chlorine atoms
red= oxygen atoms
green= sodium atoms


Sucrose is a sweet molecule. Sucrose is common table sugar to us. Sucrose is in most plant materials,but it is very abundant in sugar cane and sugar beet. Maple syrup is an example of sucrose. It is 65% sucrose with small amounts of 
glucose and fructose. When the enzyme invertase is added to sucrose, the sugar molecule breaks into two parts, glucose and fructose. This is known as invert sugar. Sucrose rotates light in one direction and invert sugar in the other. Invert sugar is sweeter than sucrose because of fuctose.Push the button below to see a space filled model. 

Aspartame-artificial sweetner
This is a aspartame molecule. aspartam is a combination of two amino acids,aspartice acid and phenylalanine.  Amino acids are small parts of proteins.Proteins can be found in peanuts, meat, milk,cheese, ect. Aspartice acid is almost tasteless,and Phenylalanine is bitter but when you hook them together it is sweet. It tastes 100 to 200 times sweeter than sucrose and does not have the bad aftertaste of saccharin, another artifical sweetner like aspartame.  Aspartame is sensitive to heat and cannot be used in cooked foods.   It also falls apart slowly even at room temperature, lilke in soft drinks.  Since aspartame is much sweeter than sucrose and less has to be put into food it is less fattning.  So many people prefere artifical flavorings such as aspartame  compared to sucrose.  Press the button underneath to see a dotted example.


 This is a zingerone molecule. The shape of zingerone makes it stimulate the pain and nerve ending making it  feel painful.  Zingerone is a hot component of ginger, the underground stem of Zingiber officinale.  The Zingerone molecule resembles the molecule Capsaicin, which makes chile peppers hot. Press the button below to see a space filled model of this molecule.

This is an quinine molecule. Quinine is a white,crystalline solid and is taken from the bark of the cinchona trees of South America. In countries that are not effected by malaria, it's bitter taste is usually in the form of tonic water. Quinine's more seriouse application,malaria, depends on the ability of the quinine molecule to bind to the DNA and to stop it from coping itself. It effects only infected cells because they absorb the molecule in higher amounts than in noneffected cells. Push the button below to see this molecule space filled. 



This molecule is menthol.  Menthol is from oil of mint.  Menthol is extracted from the Japenise peppermint plant by cutting the plant when it blooms, and then blowing with steam and collecting the condensation.  It is also made synthetically from turpentine, a substance from pine tree.  Menthol is present in the common mint herb and is used in cigarettes, soaps, and perfumes for it's pleasant smell. The cool taste of menthol arises from the cold temperature receptors  in skin. Press the button below to see a dotted model of this molecule.


Sodium Chloride-salty
   This is a sodium chloride molecule.  The chemical compound contains an equal number of positive charged sodium  and negitive charged chloric Ions.  Sodium Chloride is either of clear color or white crystle.  When it is dissolved in water the ions can move about freely and conduct electricy.  Sodium chloride (salt) Is part of the blood, sweat, and tears.  Salt makes up 80% of the dissolved material in seawater.



  This is a malate molecule. It is a sour molecule. The sour recepters are located in the back left and right corners of the tongue. Malate, which is also known as malic acid, is very abundent in apples. Malic acid is closely related to oxalic acid. When you taste sharpness in some foods you should have malic in mind. Press the button below to see a dotted model of this molecule.



This page was created by: Katie Flaskrud, and Monika Hartsel.  We dedicate this page to Mrs. Wendt and her '98/'99 6th grade science class at South Middle School.