Glutamic Acid

Glutamic Acid Molecule

Glutamic Acid: Makes Food Taste Really Good!

Mono-sodium Glutamate, also known as MSG, is derived from the non-essential amino acid – Glutamic acid. MSG has been recognized to impart a distinct flavor in Asian cuisine we know as “umami” taste. The Japanese word “umami” literally means delicious. MSG is naturally present in some foods (such as ripened tomatoes) and was thought to synergistically react with other molecules and ultimately yields a combination of meaty and brothy savory taste. Despite the appealing use of MSG as seasoning, it is currently banned to some countries because of medical concerns in relatively large number individuals and safety issues associated with its production.

How does Glutamic Acid look like in Chemistry?

Glutamic Acid Molecule

Let’s Get Building!

Using your Student Molecular Set from Duluth Labs let’s create the Glutamic Acid Molecule! You’ll need:

  • 5 Carbon atoms
  • 4 Oxygen atoms
  • 9 Hydrogen atoms
  • 1 Nitrogen atom
  • 9 Small connectors (compact small bonds for hydrogen)
  • 7 Medium Connectors
  • 4 Long connectors
  • Molecular Tool (for Disassembly) 

Put aside all the atoms and connectors needed.

Let’s Start Building With Our Amino Acid Skeleton portion

Glutamic Acid Molecule

Note: We will build the skeleton portion of our amino acid starting with our chiral carbon(α Carbon).

Steps:

  • 1
    Glutamic Acid Molecule

    1. Get one carbon atom (α Carbon)then, place one hydrogen atom at the back side using one small connector.

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    Glutamic Acid Molecule

    2. Then, get another carbon atom (β Carbon)then place this in front of α Carbon using 1 medium connector. Add 2 hydrogen atoms on β Carbon using 2 small connectors.

  • 3
    Glutamic Acid Molecule

    3. Attach another carbon (Carbonyl Carbon)on α Carbon using 1 medium connector.

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    Glutamic Acid Molecule

    4. Get an Oxygen atom and attach this to the Carbonyl Carbonusing 2 long connectors.

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    Glutamic Acid Molecule

    5. Get another Oxygen atom then attach this to the Carbonyl Carbon using a medium connector. Place a 1 hydrogen atom on this oxygen using one small connector

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    Glutamic Acid Molecule

    6. Then, get your Nitrogen atom and attach this to the α Carbon using one medium connector. Place 2 hydrogen atoms on this Nitrogen using 2 small connectors.

  • Glutamic Acid Molecule

    Yay! We've just built our amino acid skeleton!

Note: Let’s now attach the side chain containing the carboxyl groupat the beta (β) carbon – starting off with the Gamma (γ) Carbon.

Glutamic Acid Molecule
  • 1
    Glutamic Acid Molecule

    1. Get one Carbon atom (Gamma or γ Carbon)then attach this to the beta (β) carbon using 1 medium connector. Add 2 hydrogen atoms to the gamma carbon using 2 small connectors.

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    Glutamic Acid Molecule

    2. Attach another carbon atom (Delta or δ Carbon)to the Gamma (γ) carbon using a medium connector.

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    Glutamic Acid Molecule

    3. Get your Oxygen atom and attach this to the delta(or δ) carbon using 1 medium connector. Place a 1 hydrogen atom on this oxygen using one small connector.

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    Glutamic Acid Molecule

    4. Get another Oxygen atom then attach this again to the delta(or δ) carbon using 2 long connectors.

  • Glutamic Acid Molecule

    Hooray! We now have our L-Glutamic acid molecule!

Now, try this! Let’s build another Glutamic Acid molecule by following the steps outlined above. Then let’s try to interchange the Hydrogen attached to the alpha (α) carbon and the beta (β) Carbon containing the carboxylic acid functional group.

Glutamic Acid Molecule
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    Glutamic Acid Molecule

    1. Build another glutamic acid molecule following the steps outlined above.

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    Glutamic Acid Molecule

    2. Detach the hydrogen atom and the beta (β) carbon containing the carboxyl side chain.

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    Glutamic Acid Molecule

    3. Place the hydrogen atom in front of the alpha (α) carbon.

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    Glutamic Acid Molecule

    4. Then, attach the beta (β) carbon with the carboxylic acid functional group at the back side of alpha (α) carbon.

There we go! We now have 2 molecules of Glutamic Acid! See how these molecules seem to mirror each other!

Glutamic Acid Molecule

L –Glutamic Acid

Glutamic Acid Molecule

D –Glutamic Acid

Great work! Now we have our newly-built Glutamic acid molecule.

See how these two molecules seem to mirror each other.

Feel free to show us how your Glutamic acid turned out!


Comment and share pictures below!

Tune in next week for another Molecule of the week!

See you then xoxo :)

Duluth Labs

Afton Direct LLC


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