breast with carrots cooked at 200F
breast with carrots cooked above 300F
or the Maillard reaction, creates flavor and changes the color of food. Maillard
reactions generally only begin to occur above 285°F (140°C). Until the Maillard
reaction occurs meat will have less flavor. Shown above are two identical dishes
cooked (left) below (140°C) and right at much higher temperatures. Both caramelization
and the maillard reaction only occur on the right producing the noticeable
Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction between an amino acid and a reducing
sugar, usually requiring the addition of heat. Like caramelization, it is a form
of non-enzymatic browning. The reactive carbonyl group of the sugar interacts
with the nucleophilic amino group of the amino acid, and interesting but poorly
characterized odor and flavor molecules result. This process accelerates in an
alkaline environment because the amino groups do not neutralize. This reaction
is the basis of the flavoring industry, since the type of amino acid determines
the resulting flavor.
the process, hundreds of different flavor compounds are created. These compounds
in turn break down to form yet more new flavor compounds, and so on. Each type
of food has a very distinctive set of flavor compounds that are formed during
the Maillard reaction. It is these same compounds that flavor scientists have
used over the years to create artificial flavors.
Maillard reaction should not be confused with Caramelization
which occurs with sugars.
used since ancient times, the reaction is named after the chemist Louis-Camille
Maillard who investigated it in the 1910s.
Products with Maillard reactions
Maillard reaction is responsible for many colors and flavors in foodstuffs:
- caramel made from milk
browning of bread into toast
color of beer, chocolate, coffee, and maple syrup
flavor of roast meat
color of dried or condensed milk
(1) is responsible for the biscuit or cracker-like odor present in baked goods
like bread, popcorn, tortilla products. 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (2) flavours aromatic
varieties of cooked rice. Both compounds have odor thresholds below 0.06 ng/l
carbonyl group of the sugar reacts with the amino group of the amino acid, producing
N-substituted glycosylamine and water
unstable glycosylamine undergoes Amadori rearrangement, forming ketosamines
are several ways for the ketosamines to react further:
2 water and reductones
aspirin, pyruvaldehyde and other short-chain hydrolytic fission products can
brown nitrogenous polymers and melanoidins
sugars react more than hexoses, which react more than disaccharides.
amino acids produce different amounts of browning.
the Maillard reaction produces water, having a high water activity environment
inhibits the reaction.
Expeditious, High-Yielding Construction of the Food Aroma Compounds 6-Acetyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydropyridine
and 2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline Tyler J. Harrison and Gregory R. Dake ; 2005; 70(26) pp 10872 - 10874; (Note) DOI: 10.1021/jo051940a