Time course of salivary protein responses to cranberry-derived polyphenol exposure as a function of prop taster status

Neeta Y. Yousaf, Melania Melis, Mariano Mastinu, Cristina Contini, Tiziana Cabras, Iole Tomassini Barbarossa, Beverly J. Tepper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Astringency is a complex oral sensation, commonly experienced when dietary polyphenols interact with salivary proteins. Most astringent stimuli alter protein levels, which then require time to be replenished. Although it is standard practice in astringency research to provide breaks in between stimuli, there is limited consensus over the amount of time needed to restore the oral environment to baseline levels. Here we examined salivary protein levels after exposure to 20 mL of a model stimulus (cranberry polyphenol extract, 0.75 g/L CPE) or unsweetened cranberry juice (CJ), over a 10 min period. Whole saliva from healthy subjects (n = 60) was collected at baseline and after 5 and 10 min following either stimulus. Five families of proteins: basic proline-rich proteins (bPRPs); acidic proline-rich proteins (aPRPs); histatins; statherin; and S-type cystatins, were analyzed in whole saliva via HPLC-low resolution-ESI-IT-MS, using the area of the extracted ion current (XIC) peaks. Amylase was quantified via immunoblotting. In comparison to baseline (resting), both stimuli led to a rise in levels of aPRPs (p < 0.000) at 5 min which remained elevated at 10 min after stimulation. Additionally, an interaction of PROP taster status and time was observed, wherein super-tasters had higher levels of amylase in comparison to non-tasters after stimulation with CJ at both timepoints (p = 0.014–0.000). Further, male super-tasters had higher levels of bPRPs at 5 min after stimulation with both CJ and CPE (p = 0.015–0.007) in comparison to baseline. These data provide novel findings of interindividual differences in the salivary proteome that may influence the development of astringency and that help inform the design of sensory experiments of astringency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2878
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


  • Astringency
  • PROP phenotype
  • Salivary proteins

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