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Effects of microwave heating on the protein structure, digestion properties and Maillard products of gluten

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As a kind of traditional food, gluten is widely studied for its physical and chemical properties after processing, while little attention is paid to the simulation cooking processing, digestion and safety. In this paper, gluten was heated with microwave to study its structural transformations, nutritional efficiency, and food safety under Chinese home cooking (CHC). After microwave treatment, intermolecular and intramolecular cross-linking of gluten were formed to result in more aggregation. The secondary structure of gluten changed significantly as well as the formation of α-helix and β-turn promoted under the high power input. Treated with 1000 W for 5 min, cross-linking between amino acids increased, leading the reduction of total amino acids, in vitro protein digestibility and the increase of high molecular weight peptides, while the proportion of essential amino acids kept the same. In the simulation of CHC, the highest content of 5-hydroxymethyl furfural was observed after adding all condiments under 1000 W for 5 min. In addition, sugar played a major role in Maillard reaction to promote the formation of melanoidin and fructosamine while salt and oil did not significantly affect these two Maillard products. Vinegar inhibited the reaction due to the acidic condition but provided some melanoidin and fructosamine itself.

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The research was supported by project of the State Key Laboratory of Food Science and Technology, Nanchang University (Project No. SKLF-ZZB-201312), the project of National Natural Science Foundation of China (21466022).

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Correspondence to Yuhuan Liu.

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Xiang, S., Zou, H., Liu, Y. et al. Effects of microwave heating on the protein structure, digestion properties and Maillard products of gluten. J Food Sci Technol (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13197-020-04249-0

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  • Gluten
  • Microwave
  • Structure
  • Amino acid
  • Chinese home cooking
  • Digestibility