Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Optimisation of the Maillard reaction in foods

The Maillard reaction (MR) is one of the most important reaction during the thermal treatment of foods. It involves the condensation of amino groups (proteins, peptides) with reducing sugars. It gives rise to changes in colour, the developments of flavours in dairy, bakery and meat products, and has also nutritional implications. The objectives of this FAIR project was to optimise the MR reaction with a view to improving quality and safety in thermally produced foods.
New compounds responsible of colour development in foods, such as intensely coloured oligomers, were separated and characterised from model systems, and mechanistic pathways for their formation were proposed contributing to the overall understanding of the mechanism of the MR. Kinetic studied showed differences in the reaction of aldose and ketose sugars and mono and disaccharides in the reaction with proteins such as caseins. The stability of some important meat flavour impact compounds was carefully studied and procedures to increase the shelf life of process-flavourings in flavoured food-stuffs was established. The formation of some MRP’s in drinkable milk and some other dairy products produced in different EU countries permitted to select molecular markers useful for their classification in respect to the thermal treatment. The differences within each single contry are larger than between countries (Germany, the Netherland, Austria, Italy, Spain).
Some researches were devoted to nutritional aspects. A kinetic model (based on a very sensitive analytical method) was built for the formation of carcinogenic heterocyclic amines with a view to minimising their presence in commercially cooked hamburgers, while retaining the sensory properties. The influence of some pure MRP’s on selected enzymes of phase-I and phase-II of the biotransformation system was investigated in cell cultures. Some of them appear to act rather as bifunctional than as monofunctional inducers.

Contact

Anna ARNOLDI, (Associate Professor in Food Chemistry)
Tel.: +39-02-2362721
Fax: +39-02-70633062
E-mail

Subjects

Biotechnology - Food
Record Number: 23197 / Last updated on: 1999-10-04
Information source:
Collaboration sought: Financial support, Further research or development support, Information exchange/Training
Stage of development: Intermediate design, research phase