Science Leaves the Zing but Removes the Bitterness in Ginseng

Love to Eat| Ginseng has been around for 5000 years and was called ‘Ren Shen’ or ‘Man Root’ by the ancient Chinese. The Chinese and global travelers put such faith in the rejuvenating properties of ginseng that it was traded for silks and even gold. Fast forward into today’s world of energy drinks, and you will find ginseng a common ingredient.

“Consumers like to see ginseng on a product’s ingredient list because studies show that it improves memory, enhances libido and sexual performance, boosts immunity, and alleviates diabetes. But the very compounds that make ginseng good for you also make it taste bitter,” said Soo-Yeun Lee, a U of I associate professor of food science and human nutrition. via Science Daily

Researchers now believe they’ve figured out a way to eliminate about 50 percent of ginsing’s bitterness, making it much more attractive to Western taste buds.