The Acid/Base Profile of a Large Food Chemical Database

Marisa G. Santibáñez-Morán, Mariel P. Rico-Hidalgo, David T. Manallack, José L. Medina-Franco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOtherpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Molecular acid/base properties have a significant influence on membrane permeation, metabolism, absorption, and affinity for biological targets. In particular, ionizable groups are critical in the strength of target-molecule interactions, pharmacokinetics, and toxicity. In this study, we estimated the acid/base properties of the food chemicals from FooDB, a public compound collection with more than 22,000 compounds. It was found that the food chemicals have 40.9 % of neutral compounds, which is twice as many as that found in approved drugs. The most common functional groups among the acid groups in the food chemicals were phenols (16.1 %), phosphates (17.3 %), and carboxylates (17.3 %) while the single-base-containing compounds were of less interest as they accounted for just 5.5 %. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first systematic acid/base profiling of food chemicals and it is part of a continued effort to profile food chemicals for their broad interest in several areas such as nutrition and the food industry in general.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1800171
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Informatics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • acidity
  • basicity
  • chemoinformatics
  • ionization constant
  • pK

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