Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Optimizing the Maillard Reaction

The Maillard Reaction (MR) is one of the most studied reactions in food chemistry and involves the condensation of amino groups (proteins, peptides) with reducing sugars during food cooking and heating. The MR gives rise to changes in colour (eg the browning of bread during baking) and the development of flavours in dairy, bakery, and fish products. The project optimizes the MR with a view to improving quality and safety in thermally produced foods. New compounds responsible for colour and flavour development in foods are being separated and characterized and involves obtaining the ultraviolet (UV) profiles of coloured compounds obtained from xylose or glucose and lysine or glycine at different pH values and temperatures, and also the characterization of intensely coloured oligomers. The stability of the most important meat flavour impact compounds is under investigation and the parameters which increase the shelf-life of products containing process-flavourings have been identified. The microbiological stability of fish products can be improved by the use of precursors which favour the formation of suitable Maillard Reaction Products (MRP) during processing. Monitoring the formation of some MRPs in dairy products produced in different European Union (EU) countries is in progress to aid the selection of the best molecular markers for heat treatments. A kinetic model (based on a sensitive analytical method) has been built for the formation of carcinogenic heterocyclic amines with a view to minimizing their presence in commercially cooked hamburgers, while retaining sensory properties.

Reported by

Università di Milano
via Celoria 2
20133 Milano
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Biotechnology - Food