Happy Thanksgiving!
November 24, 2015
I make cranberry juice taste and look better.
What molecule am I?
Image of Tannase

Tannase, or tannin acylhydrolase, is an enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of digallate to gallate. By extension, it also decomposes hydrolyzable gallotannins to glucose and gallate. The image is the crystal structure of tannase from the bacterium Lactobacillus plantarum.

Tannase is used in food processing to decompose tannins in fruit juices such as pomegranate and cranberry. This process removes tannin-caused haze and bitterness from the juices.

So this Thanksgiving, if your cranberry sauce is too bitter, try drinking cranberry juice instead!

MOTW Update

The July 13, 2009 MOTW described the marine alga–borne neurotoxin domoic acid. This fall, the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of the United States is so contaminated with domoic acid that officials postponed the Dungeness crab harvesting season. The unusually high algae bloom is attributed to warmer temperatures caused by the El Niño climate condition.

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