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Alanine is an amino acid that provides both umami and sweetness. Alanine exists in many foods and is one of the ingredients that determines overall umami. Alanine also works well with other seasonings to enhance the flavor of food. It also helps reduce excessive acidity, saltiness, and bitterness, etc.


Basic Information

Alanine is a 3-carbon amino acid and exists naturally accounting for a large amount of the structure in many proteins. Because alanine is exsists in many foods, it is known as one of the main components of flavor in Edamame and Dadacha beans, which are known for being particularly delicious.
Alanine is found in significant quantities in Mulberry leaves, silk, and clams. Some research indicates that consumption of alanine can help burn body fat and improve liver function.
In addition to these food and cosmetics applications, alanine is under research for use as a plating chemical.

Musashino Chemical Laboratory has recently started manufacturing D-Alanine.

Product Specifications

Product Type

Alanine (DL-alanine)
This product is DL-alanine, which is a food additive.

Product Specifications

1.Description Colorless to white crystalline powder, having a sweet taste
2.Identification Conform
3.Purity Test (1)Clarity of Solution (1+10) Colorless and clear
(2)pH (1+20) Between 5.5 and 7.0
(3)Chloride Not more than 0.021%
(4)Heavy metals Not more than 20μg/g
(5)Arsenic Not more than 2.0μg/g
4.Loss on drying Not more than 0.30%
5.Residue on ignition Not more than 0.20%
6.Assay Between 98.5 and 102.0%

Product Testing Method

Testing methods in accordance with the section on food and additive specifications and standards for DL-alanine.

Main Applications and Effects

Main applications

Foods Processed agricultural products (pickles, etc.), seaweeds (salted seaweeds), processed marine products (salted squid, etc.), fish paste products (kamaboko, etc.), seasonings (soups and sauces), snacks, and beverages
Pharmaceutical and Health Foods Raw pharmaceutical materials
Industrial Use Plating chemicals and animal feed

Effects of removing harshness while extracting umami

Alanine removes various types of harshness and brings out umami.

The effect of making the salt taste milder
Reduces the intensity of saltiness while also enhancing umami.
The effect of reducing the vineger taste
Reduces acidity without affecting the pH balance.
Other effects
Reduces bitterness and acrid tastes (masking effect).

Product Features

Typical umami substances

Alanine is one of the umami components found in many types of fish, meats, and other foods.

Amount of alanine found in 100g of edible portions

Foods Content (mg)
Dried bonito 4400
Dried laver 4200
King prawn 1100
Chicken 830 - 1400
Beef 720 - 1200

Although alanine has a strong umami by itself, it can be combined with other umami substances to significantly enhance umami.

Amino acid with little browning

Alanine causes less discoloration due to Maillard reactions, which is a cause of browning foods.

Addition of alanine in electroless plating baths

Alanine is a 3-carbon, neutral amino acid.

  • Molecules contain both amino and carboxyl groups.
  • The functional groups bind to metal ions forming chelate.
  • When performing the electroless plating process, this resulting chelate reacts to decompose the metal, which should generate a high-quality coating on the surface.
  • As the stability constant of chelate is significant, this can raise the concentration level of metal in the plating solution.
  • Alanine is a safe amino acid found all over the natural world. It does not contain poisonous cyanide.
  • It is a neutral amino acid and also has cushioning properties, which helps prevent the pH of the plating solution from becoming too acid or alkaline.
  • Glycine, another neutral amino acid, has a stability constant that varies for each type of metal. Because of this difference, alanine is expexted to improve plate coatings.
  • Neutral amino acids can stabilize electroless plating reducing agents, such as formaldehyde, through the generation of additional compounds. This effect prevents metal precipitation that is normally caused by reduction reactions that are not desired in plating solutions.
    The stabilization that occurs by generating additional compounds of neutral amino acids and formaldehyde is a reversible reaction, which means that as the formaldehyde is consumed, the compound can be decomposed to release formaldehyde. As a result, this produces a stable plating solution.

*Fundamentals and Applications of Electroless Plating, Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, Ltd.

Stability constants of primary complexing agents

Metal Alanine Glycine Lactic acid Malic acid
Ag+ 4.9 3.5 - -
Cu2+ 8.4 8.6 - -
Ni2+ 4.5 6.2 1.6 1.8
Zn2+ 5.2 5.5 1.9 3.7

As demonstrated here, using alanine in plating process has many positive benefits.

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Musashino Chemical Laboratory,Ltd.
1-1-1,Yaesudai Bld.7F, Kyobashi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-0031, Japan
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