L-Cystine – Food Containing L-Cystine, Advantages, FDA Regulation

What is L-Cystine?

L-cysteine is a food additive often derived from duck feathers or human hair. L-cysteine is a non-essential amino acid and is generally safe for human consumption. L-cysteine hydrochloride is used in the baking industry as dough conditioner.

Cysteine, the L-enantiomer is known to food technologists as E920 ingredient.

Also Read: Different Types of Chocolate Used as Bakery Ingredient – Food Industry

Production/Preparation of L-Cystine:

China is the largest producer of L-cysteine. The process starts with boiling and hydrolysis of raw material (feathers or hair) in concentrated hydrochloric acid and activated carbon, followed by electrolysis.

L-cysteine is naturally produced in the body using the amino acid methionine.

Uses of L-cystine in Food industry:

  • L-cystine is known as reducing agent.
  • It is a well-known dough conditioner, which reduces mixing time and improves its texture by increasing its elasticity.
  • In Millard’s reaction, it yields meat flavour.
  • It is used as a processing aid in bakery processes.
  • It is used in the manufacturing of pizza crust.
  • It also extends the shelf life of breads.
  • It produces a firm quality of dough.

Food containing L-cystine

High protein content food contains cysteine and these are Cheeze, egg, pork, meat, yoghurt, legumes, beef, oats, soyabean, broccoli, garlic.

Also Read: What is Liquid Glucose – Bakery Ingredient – Uses, Functions, Advantages

Advantages of L-Cystine:

  • L-cystine is a good dough strengthener in yeast-leavened baked goods.
  • It helps to create anti-oxidants.
  • It finds its application in food, pharmaceutical and personal care industries.
  • It reduces toxic effects of alcohol.

Disadvantages of L-Cystine:

  • Some people, who are vegetarians, don’t prefer to eat packed food containing L-cystine because it is extracted from duck’s feather or human hair.
  • There are synthetic ways (through fermentation process) also to prepare L-cystine, but they are more expensive.
  • There is no health issues related to the use of L-cysteine.
  • It improves texture of skin and hair.

Approval: L-cystine got approval for its use in food products from the authorities of US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.

FDA Approval:

L-cysteine is regulated GRAS by the FDA under Title 21, section 184.1271.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.