Thaumatin is a group of proteins isolated from the fruit of Thaumatococcus daniellii (which is found in the West African Katemfe fruit). It is a natural sweetener that is used to sweeten up a variety of foods and drinks. It is a low-calorie sweetener and flavor modifier. It is often used for its flavor-modifying properties and not exclusively as sweetener. Thaumatin has been used for centuries, is considered a safe ingredient and has been tested for safety previously on both humans and animals. It consists essentially of the proteins Thaumatin I and Thaumatin II. It is a taste-modifying protein that functions as natural sweetener or flavor enhancer. Thus, there is an increasing demand for thaumatin worldwide.
Thaumatin is derived from the fruit of a tropical African plant called the katemfe. This fruit is reddish-orange in colour, containing between one and three black seeds that are surrounded by a gel-like substance known as the aril. The aril contains the thaumatin, which is why it is often used in confectionery products and food. The protein has a high level of sweetness, and is used to enhance the sweetness of foods and beverages. Thus, it is widely used in various products. Because of its versatility and a low calorie content, its applications are largely limited. Some of these products include milk, cheese, and yogurt, among others. But its most common uses are in pharmaceuticals and baby food.
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