Adjunct professor Zhongli Pan has received a Tanner Award for highest citations in the Journal of Food Science in 2017 for his paper, “Novel Umami Ingredients: Umami Peptides and Their Taste.” The paper, published in December 2016, is a literature review of research on umami peptides.
The Tanner Award, named the Journal of Food Science founder and inaugural editor-in-chief Fred Tanner, is given to the most-cited papers in each of eight different categories in food science and technology. Papers are honored three years after they are published to accurately judge their impact. Pan’s paper was the most-cited in the “Concise Reviews and Hypotheses” section in 2017
“It’s an honor to receive a Tanner Award and grateful that our research has made such an impact on the field of food science and technology,” said Pan. “I hope that our work will continue to inspire future research into umami peptides.”
Umami is one of the five basic tastes and is often characterized as savory. Umami-rich foods such as tomatoes, soy sauce and miso are staples of the modern diet and umami-rich foods are linked to health benefits such as fat deposition, regulation of gastrointestinal function and decreasing the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease.
Research has identified 20 types of peptides that potentially contribute to umami flavor and serve as new and easy ways for food scientists to add natural flavors to their products. Pan and his collaborators reviewed the research at the time on 20 different types of peptides, covering everything from how they taste and where they come from to how they interact with taste receptors and debates on whether the umami peptides themselves have umami taste.
Pan’s collaborators included his former visiting scholars, Professors Yin Zhang and Liming Zhao from Chengdu University, former Research Scientist, Assistant Professor Chandrasekar Venkitasamy from Iowa State University, as well as Ph.D. student Wenlong Liu from Chengdu University.
The Journal of Food Science, founded in 1936, is the flagship publication of the Institute of Food Technologies.