Some Aspects of the Chemistry of Nonenzymatic Browning (The Maillard Reaction)

  • Milton S. Feather
Part of the Basic Symposium Series book series (IFTBSS)


When food preparations are heat processed or stored for long periods of time, a number of chemical reactions occur. Among these are the Maillard reaction (nonenzymatic browning). The Maillard reaction involves the reaction of an aldehyde (usually a reducing sugar) and an amine (usually a protein or amino acid) in its initial stages. The reaction, first studied and reported by Maillard (1916), is, in reality, a multiplicity of reactions. As a result of the initial interaction of sugars and amines, volatile food flavors and aromas are produced, ultraviolet (UV) absorbing compounds are produced, and dark-colored polymeric materials arise. Although this reaction is important in the processing of foods and has been the object of numerous studies, the details of the reaction are still poorly understood. Probably the most definitive (from the standpoint of chemistry) studies have involved the use of model systems, most often simple sugars and amino acids or other organic amines.


Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Maillard Reaction Substitute Methyl Group Hexuronic Acid Amadori Rearrangement 
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Copyright information

© AVI Publishing Co. 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Milton S. Feather
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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