Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Glucose and mannose have a different degree of sweetness, implying different affinity to the sweet taste receptor. While the receptor structure is still undefined, there are several geometrical models for their binding mechanism. A detailed study of the hydration structure of sugars with known degree of sweetness is bound to provide information on the accuracy of such models. Our neutron diffraction study on the hydration of glucose and mannose show that both α- and β-glucose form strong hydrogen bonds with water, and that the steric hindrance of their first hydration shell matches the receptor geometrical model. The α-anomer of mannose has a similar, well-defined first hydration shell, but with fewer and weaker hydrogen bonds compared to glucose. Conversely, the hydration shell of β-mannose (reported as bitter) does not match the receptor geometrical model. These findings suggest a link between the hydration shell of sugars and their degree of sweetness.

Original publication




Journal article


J Phys Chem B

Publication Date





7771 - 7776


Glucose, Hydrogen Bonding, Mannose, Molecular Conformation, Sweetening Agents, Taste, Water