June 30, 2022

Dihydrochalcones - a class of minor flavonoids

The dihydrochalcones are a group of intense sweeteners. They are phenolic compounds prepared from the bitter citrus flavanones, naringin and neo-hesperidin, which are present as major constituents of the peel of some citrus fruits.

Neohesperidin dihydrochalcone may be prepared on a commercial scale using either of the flavanones, neohesperidin or naringin, as starting material. Neohesperidin occurs naturally in bitter (Seville) oranges (Citrus aurantium), particularly in the peel of the immature fruit, and naringin in the peels of both grapefruit (Citrus paradisii) and bitter orange.

The flavonoid compound neohesperidine is itself bitter but dilute alkali extract gives a sweet compound called Neohesperidin dihydrochalcone, which is about 1000 times sweeter than sucrose and has a slow onset and persists for some time.

The compound neo-hesperidin dihydrochalcone (NeoDHC) has some commercial importance. NeoDHC is available as a while to colorless solid. Solidity is not particularly good at 0.5 g/l at 25 °C, although it increases with temperature and, as use level is low it is sufficient for food applications.

Like other highly sweet glycosides, such as glycyrrhizin, NeoHDC exhibits a long lasting sweetness at high concentrations, associated with a licorice-like aftertaste and it has an apparent synergism with citric acid. It has not been approved as a sweetener in the United States, although it is considered GRAS as a flavour enhancer.
Dihydrochalcones - a class of minor flavonoids

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