Two solutions of maltose in water were used to prepare caramels. Alanine as a catalyst was added to one of these solutions. The caramelization was conducted at 130°C for total time period 90 minutes. Convenient samples were taken of each caramel solution every 30 min and subjected to sensory analysis and isolation of volatile components. The odour and colour sensory tests were evaluated according to the international standard methods (ISO). The results showed that, the presence of alanine gave rise to a high significant (P < 0.01) decrease in acid attributes and remarkable increase in the sweet and caramel attributes, which are the most important caramel notes. On the other hand the increase in heating time in presence of alanine as a catalyst resulted in a high significant (P < 0.01) increase in the browning rate of caramel solution. The new technique Solid Phase Micro Extraction (SPME) was used for trapping the volatile components in the headspace of each caramel samples followed by thermal desorption and GC and GC – MS analysis. The 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furfural (HMF), the main characteristic caramel product, showed its highest value in sample containing alanine after heating for 60 minutes. The best sensory results of the sample contains alanine were confirmed by the presence of high concentrations of the most potent odorants of caramel besides to the formation of some volatile compounds have caramel like flavours such as 2-acetyl pyrrole, 2-furanones and 1-(2-furanyl)1,2-propandione.
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