The dextrorotatory sweet asparagine of Arnaldo Piutti: the original product is conserved in Florence
In 1886, Pasteur presented a note on the work of the Italian chemist Arnaldo Piutti concerning the difference between the two physical isomers (enantiomers) of asparagine. The octahedral crystal of asparagine appeared only as “levorotatory hemihedralism” but, in principle, should also exist as a dextrorotatory asparagine with a symmetric crystalline form. In 1886 Arnaldo Piutti isolated the dextrorotatory asparagines while he was working as an assistant of Ugo Schiff in Florence. He obtained also another unexpected information, of which only Pasteur immediately understood the importance: the dextrorotatory aspargine had a sweet taste. The dextrorotatory sweet asparagine of Arnaldo Piutti is conserved in the Schiff Collection of the Department of Chemistry “Ugo Schiff” at the University of Florence, and is the first compound where a relationship between the optical isomerism of a molecule and a different response of human receptors, in this case the taste, was observed.
Copyright (c) 2018 Laura Colli, Antonio Guarna
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
- Copyright on any open access article in Substantia published by FUP is retained by the author(s).
- Authors grant FUP a license to publish the article and identify itself as the original publisher.
- Authors also grant any third party the right to use the article freely as long as its integrity is maintained and its original authors, citation details and publisher are identified.
- The Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 formalizes these and other terms and conditions of publishing articles.
- In accordance with our Open Data policy, the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Public Domain Dedication waiver applies to all published data in Substantia open access articles.