Molar mass: 121.16 g mol?1
Cysteine (abbreviated as Cys or C) is an α-amino acid with the chemical formula HO2CCH(NH2)CH2SH. It is a non-essential amino acid, which means that humans can synthesize it. Its codons are UGU and UGC. With a thiol side chain, cysteine is classified as a hydrophobic amino acid. Because of the high reactivity of this thiol, cysteine is an important structural and functional component of many proteins and enzymes. Cysteine is named after cystine, its oxidized dimer.
Cysteine, mainly the L-enantiomer, is a precursor in the food, pharmaceutical, and personal care industries. One of the largest applications is the production of flavors. For example, the reaction of cysteine with sugars in a Maillard reaction yields meat flavors.L-cysteine is also used as a processing aid for baking. Small quantities (in the tens of ppm range) help to soften the dough and thus reduce processing time.
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